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States of love: Godard, Badiou, and the inaesthetics of 'non-cinema'

By Corin Depper


“She really had something to say about the State…and the impossibility of the State falling in love” Eloge de l’Amour (Jean-Luc Godard, 2001) Since the late 1980s, Jean-Luc Godard’s work has been marked by a focus on the ethical failure of cinema to discover an appropriate means to account for historical events, and a concomitant view of interpersonal relations as a similarly fraught field. Effectively seeking to discover a cinematic form capable of acknowledging these dual tensions has led to a Godardian rapprochement between Bazinian and Eisensteinian modes in his most recent work, and the emergence of a new phenomenological form existing, pace Alain Badiou, between ‘Being’ and ‘Event’. This paper will take Godard’s 2001 film Eloge de l’Amour [In Praise of Love] as a focal point for discussing the implications of Badiou’s work in the Handbook of Inaesthetics in developing a study of Godard’s late style. Despite Badiou’s pronounced skepticism towards cinema, situating it between ‘art and non-art’ - in a manner that recalls the later Heidegger - it will be suggested that his work offers the potential for challenging the breakdown between political and personal that can re-conceptualize Godard’s work as existing between ‘cinema and non-cinema’

Topics: communication
Year: 2009
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