Godard’s Voices


Histoire(s) du cinéma.

Godard’s voice is monotone. In some cases, understanding its place or role leads to an acceptance of it (but perhaps not to an appreciation of it). JLG/JLG: Self-Portrait in December (JLG/JLG: autoportrait de décembre, 1995) is a self-portrait and therefore his voice is in the film as his image is. Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-98) combines his voice with the sounds of machines — in this monumental work, there is something mechanical about the inexpressiveness of his voice that matches the displayed ability of film and video technology to self-reflect. But in Notre musique (2004) there is a sequence of a lecture in which Godard comments on a group of photographs and here his voice is not intimate or mechanical: it just lacks vividness.