À bout de souffle (Außer Atem), 1960, Jean-Luc Godard

Collection on Screen:

In Memoriam Godard / Anger / Straub & Huillet / Snow

June 30 to July 30, 2023

Our 2023 summer cinema presents another Collection on Screen selection, this time in memoriam. Over the past few years, four of the most influential filmmakers passed away: Jean-Luc Godard (12/3/1930–9/13/2022), Jean-Marie Straub (1/8/1933–11/20/2022), Michael Snow (12/10/1928–1/5/2023), and Kenneth Anger (2/3/1927-5/11/2023). All four had close ties to the Film Museum and were honored with film series; many of their works have found their way into our collection. Many of the film prints stored in our vault will be shown again during the month of July.
As a founding member of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was already a groundbreaking innovator in the 1960s. Up until his death, he continued producing aesthetic experiments in which he always tried out new approaches to the audiovisual composition of cinema. The Film Museum last dedicated a three-part series to Godard’s entire work between 2015 and 2017 and will now bring back 15 films from his classic debut À bout de souffle (Breathless, 1960) to the late work Film Socialisme (2010).
Together with his partner Danièle Huillet (5/1/1936–10/9/2006), Jean-Marie Straub began developing a radical approach to filmmaking in the 1960s, whose initial reception was very hostile – Godard counted among their first substantial defenders. Since then, their extremely reduced and Brechtian adaptations of classic texts (including ones by Heinrich Böll, Franz Kafka and Hölderlin) and operas (such as Arnold Schönberg's Moses und Aron, 1975) have come to be accepted as exceptional works and been celebrated internationally. The Film Museum dedicated a complete retrospective to Huillet/Straub in 2004 (paired with films by their favorite director, John Ford) and in July we will show 14 of their features and shorts made between 1963 and 2008.
Finally, Canadian artist Michael Snow is one of the preeminent figures of experimental film. He was last a guest of the Film Museum in 2012 for an In person program and many of his groundbreaking works such as Wavelength (1967) can be seen annually in our cyclical program What Is Film Five of Snow's films in our collection are not regularly shown, however: They will be featured in two programs this summer.

Just before going to print, we received news of the passing of yet another key figure, Kenneth Anger: An underground visionary, queer pioneer, outsider chronicler of Hollywood and occultist, he was one the most dazzling figures in film history. Nearly all of his extent film work is represented in the collection of the Film Museum. Two of Anger's works are also not regularly presented in What Is Film and we will screen them in his memory – framing his influential masterpiece Scorpio Rising (1963). (Christoph Huber / Translation: Ted Fendt)

With Manfred Schwaba in attendance on July 2
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