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Jean-Luc Godard (Three-Disc Collector's Edition)

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The renowned French filmmaker gets his due with this set of four Godard classics. Includes Passion (1982/88 min.), First Name: Carmen (1983/85 min.), The Detective (1985/95 min.) and Oh Woe Is Me (1993/95 min.). In French with English subtitles. 3 DVDs. Color/NR/fullscreen.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 354 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YV1Q30
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,031 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Staci L. Wilson on January 31, 2008
Format: DVD
Give me a cinematic film over a naturalistic one any day. I'm an unapologetic fan of pretty pictures, and auteur Jean-Luc Godard made some of the most beautiful, ever.

If you're like me, you will want to see Lionsgate's new collection, entitled simply: The Jean-Luc Godard Boxed Set. While these later films in the famous French New Wave director's oeuvre are not his most popular, they are certainly right up there with the rest of his work as far as good looks go.

Passion
First Name: Carmen
Détective
Oh Woe is Me

I watched Détective (1985) for the first time, mainly because it seems to be singled out as one of his "worst" and "most commercial" movies, done "just for the money." It is supposed to be a film noir farce, but it's hardly a send up of a genre ala the films of Edgar Wright. In this one, you have to look pretty hard for the satire. But that's OK - it's gorgeous, and the characters are quirky.

More about mis-en-scene than the mystery at hand, Détective ostensibly follows the intersecting - but not necessarily connected - stories of a collected group of people ensconced in the Hotel Concorde St. Lazare in Paris. Watching them all is the titled detective, Isidore (Jean-Pierre Léaud), his uncle (Laurent Terzieff) and their luscious young love interest, Arielle (Aurelle Doazan).

As the detective himself says, "To sum up: Lots of stories here, ours and other people's. Something is bound to happen." A lot does happen, but in a very languid, roundabout manner - this is definitely the kind of movie you watch for love of art, not for mindless popcorn-munching.
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This three disc set of movies includes four films, and one 29 minute documentary about these particular films. The films are as follows:

"Passion"(1982) is a film about a director who is struggling to make a film, just as Godard is struggling to make this and other films. This film is about the process of film making, but also about the struggle to make art, which is illustrated with various live sets of famous works of art from Goya to Rembrandt, Rubens and Delacroix. Hanna Schygulla, and Isabelle Huppert appear in this film.

"First Name: Carmen"(1983) is a satirical film that is reminiscent at times of a Charlie Chaplin or the Keystone Cops film. One particularly humorous scene is of a bank robbery, with one of the cops firing at one of the robbers (Carmen, played by Maruschka Detmers), which evolves into a close contact wrestling match, and then into a scene of two lovers on the floor kissing oneanother. The two lovers then eventually run off together running from the law. The rest of the film focuses on the two lovers and their quarrels. Godard uses a pastiche of fragmented sounds and images to evoke a story about conflict that goes beyond two lovers in order to address various political issues about gender,power and economics. Godard appears in this film as a film director who is living in an asylum, and who is Carmen's uncle.

"Detective"(1985) is a collage of styles from film noir, melodrama, slapstick, and comedy to romance. A detective stakes out a hotel of people, some of whom are involved with the mafia, all of which takes place in and opposite a hotel in Paris. Laurent Terzieff and Jean-Pierre Leaud portray the detective and assistant. Johnny Hallyday is a fight promoter who is having an affair with Nathalie Baye, while Alain Cluny is a Mafia head.
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The prints are fantastic and at least one of these movies is only available on dvd on this set. Detective and Helas Pour Moi are so-so but First Name Carmen and Passion are two of Godard's greatest films. well-worth owning.
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A great product for aficionados of art film. These aren't the easiest films to get your mind around. However, the product has useful helps - a brief but incisive summary of each film on the back of the case, "chapter" headings, and a discussion featurette concerning the cinema of Godard. Discussion points in the featurette are supported by scenes from the four films in this package. ..The aim of this type of cinema is to stimulate thinking and to educate, but these films are sensual, erotic, comical and poetic as well. Lots of slapstick, film genre-hopping and beautiful actors and actresses.
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The director's long, complicated relationship with beautiful images is worked in this package of four films: Passion, First Name: Carmen, Detective, and Oh, Woe is Me. Best one? Passion.

There's no story, per se, in any of these, so you must watch for other reasons, and chief among these, for those of us who love Godard, is the sense that any image is multiple: the director is writing an essay, sorting through different 'tries' at understanding pieces of his life; the director is making a traditional film, with characters, with motives, with desires (which braid with the director's desires).
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It's French. It's mandatory for all film buffs especially those of the european genre. If you like films that march to a different beat, this is one collection you should spend some time with. Not everybody's cup of tea, but I really enjoy this collection. As a serious film watcher, I'm pretty tough on rating them. Four stars is about the maximum any film gets. Had the passage of time not made these features less shocking and controversial, I probably would have given them a five star rating.
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