Photo by Terry O’Neill
Chantal Akerman: You can see him excluding himself from the world in an almost autistic manner. For people like me, who started doing film because of him, it is a terrible fright. And the fact that the long evolution that Godard has been through can lead to this, almost brings me to despair. He was kind of a pioneer, an inventor who didn’t care much about anybody or anything. And that a man at this stage of his life isolates himself, should also be a lesson for us other film makers.
Woody Allen: I think he’s a brilliant innovator. I don’t always love every film he’s made. I think he’s very inventive, but sometimes his inventions are taken by other people and used better. But he’s certainly one of the innovators of cinema.
Paul Thomas Anderson: I love Godard in a very film school way. I can’t say that I’ve ever been emotionally attacked by him. Where I have been emotionally attacked by Truffaut.
Michelangelo Antonioni: Godard flings reality in our faces, and I’m struck by this. But never by Truffaut.
Ingmar Bergman: I’ve never been able to appreciate any of his films, nor even understand them. Truffaut and I used to meet on several occasions at film festivals. We had an instant understanding that extended to his films. But Godard: I find his films affected, intellectual, self-obsessed and, as cinema, without interest and frankly dull. Endless and tiresome. Godard is a desperate bore. I’ve always thought that he made films for critics. He made one here in Sweden, Masculin Féminin, so boring that my hair stood on end.
Luis Buñuel: I’ll give him two years more, he is just a fashion.
Jean-Luc Godard: I am not an auteur, well, not now anyway. We once believed we were auteurs but we weren’t. We had no idea, really. Film is over. It’s sad nobody is really exploring it. But what to do? And anyway, with mobile phones and everything, everyone is now an auteur.
Werner Herzog: Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung fu film.
Fritz Lang: I like him a great deal: he is very honest, he loves the cinema, he is just as fanatical as I was. In fact, I think he tries to continue what we started one day, the day when we began making our first films. Only his approach is different. Not the spirit.
Roman Polanski: In fact the worst thing possible is to be absolutely certain about things. Hitler, for example, must have been convinced in the certainty of his ideas and that he was right. I don’t think he did anything without believing in it, otherwise he wouldn’t have done it to start with. And I think Jean-Luc Godard believes he makes good films, but maybe they aren’t that good.
Satyajit Ray: Godard especially opened up new ways of… making points, let us say. And he shook the foundations of film grammar in a very healthy sort of way, which is excellent.
Quentin Tarantino: To me, Godard did to movies what Bob Dylan did to music: they both revolutionized their forms.
François Truffaut: You’re nothing but a piece of shit on a pedestal. […] You fostered the myth, you accentuated that side of you that was mysterious, inaccessible and temperamental, all for the slavish admiration of those around you. You need to play a role and the role needs to be a prestigious one; I’ve always had the impression that real militants are like cleaning women, doing a thankless, daily but necessary job. But you, you’re the Ursula Andress of militancy, you make a brief appearance, just enough time for the cameras to flash, you make two or three duly startling remarks and then you disappear again, trailing clouds of self-serving mystery.
Orson Welles: He’s the definitive influence if not really the first film artist of this last decade, and his gifts as a director are enormous. I just can’t take him very seriously as a thinker—and that’s where we seem to differ, because he does. His message is what he cares about these days, and, like most movie messages, it could be written on the head of a pin. But what’s so admirable about him is his marvelous contempt for the machinery of movies and even movies themselves—a kind of anarchistic, nihilistic contempt for the medium—which, when he’s at his best and most vigorous, is very exciting.
Wim Wenders: For me, discovering cinema was directly connected to his films. I was living in Paris at the time. When Made in USA opened, I went to the first show—it was around noon—and I sat there until midnight. I saw it six times in a row.
Have you seen Prada latest short film ‘A Therapy‘, directed by Roman Polanski, which was premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival?
Polanski uses as the main narrative the Sigmund Freud element. By element I mean, assuming that almost everyone knows who Sigmund Freud was and many are familiar with Freudian heritage, we see an element from Freud’s life as the main narrative of this short film – the therapy session.
By reconstructing the famous room of Sigmund Freud, with a better positioning of furniture, added technology (laptop on doctors table), and usage of rich (probably Jewish) and lonely female character, Polanski creates recognizable and simply understandable scene to, I assume, all of the Prada brand wearers. Associating the brand with popular science, spicing with academia, contradictional and sexy psychoanalysis, loneliness – so actual in contemporary individualistic society, unknown and tricky subconscious, mature desires, presenting it all in retro styled sauce.
Film moves to culmination when the background music starts and doctor recognizes patient’s coat, this seductive lavender fur coat, while dynamic camera movement dramatizes the whole scene. And here Polanski presents smartly the Prada-item, using all communication levels:
visual level: the item is beautiful – doctor’s gaze;
kinesthetic level: the item is pleasant to touch – doctor’s enjoying touching the fur; and the
fragrant level - doctor’s enjoys the smell of collar.
By the end: Prada Suits Everyone!
Following today’s trend of unisex clothing, girlfriend-boyfriend jeans, androgynous bodies – Prada takes it all to another level, always with the classy tone. No matter the age and gender, no matter the problems – Prada is such a noble clothing brand, that it suits everyone.
“[Polanski] had the idea that I should absentmindedly walk across the street into the moving traffic, not looking right or left. ‘Nobody will hit a pregnant woman,’ he laughed, referring to my padded stomach. He had to operate the hand-held camera himself, since nobody else would. I took a deep breath. An almost giddy, euphoric feeling came over me. Together Roman & I marched right in front of the oncoming cars – with Roman on the far side, so I would’ve been hit first. ‘There are 127 varieties of nuts,” he told a journalist. ‘Mia is 116 of them.’ I’ll take a compliment any way it comes.
I appeared in every single scene of the film, except when, during [the impregnated with Satan’s spawn sequence] a body double was used in my place. But I didn’t entirely miss out on the scene – one day I found myself – me from convent school, who prayed with outstretched arms in the predawn light – tied to the four corners of a bed, ringed by elderly, chanting witches, while a perfect stranger with bad skin and vertical pupils was grinding away on top of me. I didn’t dare think. After finishing that scene the actor climbed off me and said politely, in all seriousness, ‘Miss Farrow, I just want to say, it’s a real pleasure to have worked with you.’”
-excerpted from Mia Farrow’s What Falls Away