A Video Essay on Jean-Luc Godard
The following video is an exploration of Jean-Luc Godard’s use of space in cinema. The British Film Institute posits that he creates a new spatial understanding through film using existing architectural spaces and thus can be understood as an architect. To support this, the video highlights Godard’s ability to show buildings and urban contexts from unique vantages, and furthermore, shows how he choreographs their uses to expose them in new and revealing ways.
We see the word “architect” increasingly co-opted by other industries in an attempt to describe someone who is is instrumental in the construction of an idea or the overseeing of a process (for instance, software architects, enterprise architect, information architects, etc).
This video, however, doesn’t necessarily serve to expand the notion of the "architect” or utilize it as a catch-all term. Instead, it seeks to highlight the ability of cinema to create space in the same way that traditional architecture creates space. Unlike in the previous examples, this extension of the word, or, more adequately, this adoption of the word, is only relevant to the extent that it relates to an architectural discourse on domestic, urban, and even infrastructural space. Here, the role of the film director, in particular, Godard, is described as one who is “building, capturing and arranging spaces.”
The video is a wonderful compilation of the work of Jean-Luc Godard and satiates an architect’s interest in space. It could also open up an alternative interpretation: The architect as director. If a director is understood to be one who controls the artistry and drama, who visualizes and guides the fulfillment of the vision, who choreographs the use of space, certainly it could be equally valid to reverse the video’s premise.
Comments are closed.