In this biography, now translated into English for the first time, Bert Rebhandl provides a balanced evaluation of the work of one of the most original and influential film directors of all time: Jean-Luc Godard (1930–2022). In this sympathetic yet critical overview, he argues that Godard's work captured the revolutionary spirit of Paris in the late 1960s as no other filmmaker has dared, and in fact reinvented the medium.
Rebhandl skillfully weaves together biographical details; information about the cultural, intellectual, and cinematic milieu over the decades; and descriptions of Godard’s most significant films to support his assertion that the director was a permanent revolutionary—always seeking new ways to create, understand, and comment on film within a larger context. He views Godard as an artist consistently true to himself while never ceasing to change and evolve, often in unexpected, radical, and controversial ways.
Rebhandl is known as a journalist with deep insights and lucid prose. Despite the wealth of material to analyze, he neither gets lost in the details nor offers a superficial gloss, even while directly tackling such topics as the long-standing charges of antisemitism against Godard and his oeuvre. This volume will be welcome to both casual fans and dedicated devotees.
About the Author
Bert Rebhandl is a freelance journalist whose writings have appeared in such venues as Frankfurter Allgemeine and tipBerlin. He is the author of several previous books written in German.
Edward Maltby is a UK-based translator. He holds a degree in modern and medieval languages from Cambridge University.
“A wonderfully fact-filled new biography of Godard. . . . You immediately want to watch the best of his films again as you read Rebhandl’s confidently narrated book about the filmmaker, which analyzes with genteel restraint.”—Der Spiegel
“Rebhandl has undoubtedly hit it big here.”—Walter Gasperi, Die Furche
“A wonderful, dense tapestry of cinematic knowledge, not without a pattern of personal enthusiasm, which lets one walk reasonably safely into the workrooms of a guy who doesn’t exactly welcome guests with open arms.”—Georg Seeßlen, epd Film
“Rebhandl’s lucidly written monograph offers a perfect introduction to Godard’s complex intellectual and cinematic world.”—Stefan Grissemann, Profil
“Rebhandl’s treatise lends itself to introductory reading, but also provides enough page-turners for Godard connoisseurs. . . . No small feat.”—Andreas Busche, Tagesspiegel
“Rebhandl’s thorough but compact account is helpful in figuring out an artist who was complex and, in later years, often elusive in his recorded utterances.”—Library Journal