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Everything Is Cinema

The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard

Richard Brody

Picador

When Jean-Luc Godard wed the ideals of filmmaking to the realities of autobiography and current events, he changed the nature of cinema. Unlike any earlier films, Godard’s work shifts fluidly from fiction to documentary, from criticism to art. Godard himself also projects shifting images—cultural hero, fierce loner, shrewd businessman. Hailed by filmmakers as a—if not the—key influence on cinema, Godard has entered the modern canon, a figure as mysterious as he is indispensable.

In Everything Is Cinema, critic Richard Brody has amassed hundreds of interviews to demystify the elusive director and his work. Paying as much attention to Godard’s technical inventions as to the political forces of the postwar world, Brody traces an arc from the director’s early critical writing, through his popular success with Breathless, to the grander vision of his later years. Brody vividly depicts Godard’s wealthy conservative family, his fluid politics, and his tumultuous experiences with women and fellow New Wave filmmakers.

Everything Is Cinema shows decisively the lasting mark that Godard has left on cinema.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter One

"WE DO NOT THINK WE ARE THOUGHT"

In the second edition, dated June 1950, of a thin newspaper-like magazine published in Paris, La Gazette du cinéma, a nineteen-year-old writer made a modest debut. Jean-Luc Godard's article, simply titled "Joseph Mankiewicz," was a short and breezy overview of that director's career, though, as in the following reference to the director's recent film, A Letter to Three Wives, it was devoted less to his Films than to Mankiewicz himself: " 'One can judge a woman's past by her present,' Mankiewicz says somewhere: this letter
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REVIEWS

Praise for Everything Is Cinema

"Richard Brody's biography of Godard—arguably the most important, enigmatic, and exciting filmmaker of the second half of the 20th century—effortlessly weaves intellectual history, a personal saga, and an authoritative reading of the films themselves into a seamless web. It virtually crackles with intelligence, and is a must read for anyone interested in cinema."—Peter Biskind, author of Gods and Monsters: Thirty Years of Writing on Film and Culture

"Full of lucid analysis and human context, Richard Brody's book performs a heroic act in rescuing Godard and his growing shelf of works from the prison of myth and theory, from the cult of youth and the cult of the '60s, restoring him to his place as an engaged, hard-working artist."—Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude


"Godard changed the movies as much as the American masters he grew up on: Welles, Hawks, Hitchcock, and the rest. He is as original as Picasso—but unlike Picasso, he has been denied the biography he has always deserved. This is it. Just at the moment when the New Wave turns fifty, Richard Brody has given us Everything is Cinema, a remarkable book which describes with sharp intelligence a great and elusive artist's times, intellect, passions, and work."—Wes Anderson, writer and director of Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic


"Everything Is Cinema is better than a biography, it is a novel. And a great novel, in which one discovers the story of a man who almost picked the wrong art form, a struggling writer who became an immense filmmaker."—Bernard-Henri Lévy, author of American Vertigo

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Richard Brody

  • Richard Brody is a film critic and editor at The New Yorker. Everything Is Cinema is his first book.

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Available Formats and Book Details

Everything Is Cinema

The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard

Richard Brody

PEN Literary Award Winner, PEN Literary Award Winner

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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