T. alt.: Bardot et Godard. F.: Maurice Perrimond. M.: Jacques Rozier, Jean Collet. Mus.: Antoine Duhamel. Int.: Brigitte Bardot, Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang. Prod.: Argos Films. DCP. D.: 8’. Bn.
While filming the making of Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt in 1963, Jacques Rozier also shot two complementary short films, Paparazzi and Bardot-Godard. Le Parti des choses. In the latter work he takes a more serious look at the creative act, revealing the daily tasks of the technicians, the movements of the actors, the director’s point of view… In short, the film depicts the randomness of the shooting process, frequently determined by unforeseen events.
Bardot and Piccoli, who play the estranged couple, sensitive and fragile, take their positions. The scene directors are busy and the sound and image technicians coordinate between each other. The clapper loader announces action and Godard directs Fritz Lang with reverential fear: “the old Indian chief”, “the spokesman of the Gods”, “he who scrutinises men” says the voiceover, that voice, which for all the film seems to transmit the common thought of both Godard and Rozier. Jacques Rozier, visibly fascinated by Fritz Lang and Brigitte Bardot, is also fascinated by his friend Jean-Luc Godard. With his camera, he follows Godard’s camera: this time he is the ‘paparazzo’, hunting down the movie camera. Thanks to the Mitchell Camera and the Technicolor equipment, Jean-Luc Godard will sublimate Brigitte Bardot, and the comment makes it clear that “from the very beginning, until the last breath, every Jean-Luc Godard film is a truth document devoted to modern woman: illogical, disarming, capricious, exasperating, regal, mysterious”.
If the random component is not alien to cinema, and in any case is neither foreign to the cinema of Godard nor that of Rozier, it is because their films constantly feed on a reflection of modernity and on the necessity to imagine the world and our representation of it in a different way.
Jacques Rozier takes advantage of the situation to redefine cinema, thanks to the presence of Godard, Bardot and Lang, three exceptional figures that find themselves together on a sun-drenched Mediterranean set. The short Bardot Godard. Le parti des choses is a malicious mirror of Jacques Rozier’s thoughts; in some ways it is his description of modern woman: illogical, disarming, mysterious and regal.
The pleasure of travel and holidays, the reoccurring theme of water and islands, the poignant sense of time, the inclination for popular genres and actors, the hybridisation of documentary and fiction, the supremely artistic improvisations and sublime inversions indelibly mark this style of cinema, which evokes like none other the sensation, at once both joyous and melancholic, of the grace of existence and the fragility of the instant. Paradoxically, nothing is more in tune with the world, or nothing is more visionary than such an insular cinema, which manages to grasp the essential by proceeding in a zigzag manner
Jacques Mandelbaum, “Le Monde”, 1° settembre 2001