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Jean Luc-Godard's King Lear [VHS] (1987)

Woody Allen , Leos Carax  |  PG |  VHS Tape
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Allen, Leos Carax, Julie Delpy, Suzanne Lanza, Kate Mailer
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Japanese, Russian
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Xenon Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: October 7, 1992
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630240567X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,464 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS tape, 1987, starring Woody Allen and Molly Ringwald.

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Godard's Best... July 24, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
Godard's King Lear is an extended meditation on the possibilty or impossibility of capital-A "Art" in the postmodern age. It engages inconsistently at best with Lear--if you're looking for an interesting, coherent interpretation of Shakespeare's play, you'll probably want to look somewhere else--but as a working-through of what it means to create Art or what counts as Art, it is incomparable.

Ironically, but unsurprisingly, this is one of Godard's most "Modernist" works, engaging in self-conscious formal experimentation in order to engage with the "essence" of the cinematic medium. Gone is the overt political aspect of his work of the 1960's, as he has come to be concerned here with aesthetic issues alone. (Arguably, this was a necessary step leading into his religious works of the 1990's.)

And all that highfalutin' interpretation aside, who doesn't want to see Burgess Meredith (and Norman Mailer) "playing King Lear" to Molly Ringwald (and Mailer's daughter's) Cordelia?

Note to Woody Allen fans: His cameo is about two seconds long. If he's your only interest, don't bother.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
"King Lear" is a fascinating film experience. Godard expresses passionate views of power vs. virtue, as appears on one of his many taglines, but what is most remarkable about this masterful picture is its sheer ability to inspire provocative thoughts of American society today. Released to video October 9, 1992 and classified PG by CARA, "King Lear" also features optimal sound (c/o of Dolby), as is appropriate and necessary for Godard's cinematic scope. Set against the backdrop of a Swiss resort, "King Lear," indeed unfolds in "post-apocalyptic"(Leonard Maltin), post-Chernobyl time, revealing a surreal picture of the world as we may come to see it. Misunderstood and underappreciated, "King Lear" is not to be missed, if only to see Brat Packer Molly Ringwald in her best picture since 1986's "Pretty in Pink."
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1.0 out of 5 stars Godard suicides, again. December 28, 2012
By nicolas
Format:VHS Tape
This is one of Godard's worst films. It is very, very bad.

This film is a documentary of Godard destroying himself, which is something he does now and then so that he can be something else.

The 80's were not great for Godard, except for the early 80's which were, with 'Every Man for Himself' and 'Passion', exceptional. After that there is some interesting work with 'First name Carmen' and 'Hail Mary',however, 'First name Carmen' features crazy uncle Jean in the early stages of a genre suicide. Then in 1985 there is 'Detective', which shows strong signs of unredeemed genre self-loathing. Finally in 1987 Jean-Luc pulls the pin on 'Godard'. It's a shocking display of suicidal cinema.

Godard, like many great artists, has suicided many times: 'Crazy Pete', 'Made in USA' or the whole Dziga Vertov thing, are all examples of this.

Godard knows when it's time to self-destruct and it's a good thing he did suicide in the late 80's, because after that we get Godard re-born in 1990 with the sublime 'Nouvelle Vague'.

So, 'King Lear' is really just a hideous and neccesary defecation.
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