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In Praise Of Love

3.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(Jul 22, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From Jean-Luc Godard, possibly the most influential European film director of all time comes IN PRAISE OF LOVE, a mesmerizing and lyrical meditation on love, and the role history and memory play in shaping human consciousness, past and present.

Structured in two parts, the film opens in Paris, where the young artist Edgar is developing a project on the four stages of a love affair- meeting, sexual passion, separation. and rediscovery. During the casting process, Edgar discovers a beautiful young woman who he is convinced he has met before. In the second part, set two years earlier, Edgar interviews an elderly couple- former Resistance fighters during the war- only to find that their memories are being bought up for a Steven Spielberg blockbuster. Linking the two parts is Edgar's relationship with the enigmatic woman he met and re-encounters.

IN PRAISE OF LOVE is a combative but tender work that stubbornly asserts the importance of love, art and memory. A film of great intellectual freedom, elusive meanings and overwhelming visual beauty, Godard has never seemed more young, fresh and original.


Forty-three years since the release of À Bout de Souffle (Out of Breath), Jean-Luc Godard has still got it. And like his first film, the English title (in that case, Breathless) incorrectly represents the essence of this intricate work. "In Praise of Love" suggests a joyous celebration, but in actuality, Éloge de l'Amour (Eulogy for Love) is a meditation on life, love, and particularly loss. The 2001 film is highly reminiscent of Godard's films from the '60s in structure and attitude. On the surface we may be watching the making of a film (similar to Le Mépris), but in actuality, we are deep in the exploration of love's melancholic elements. In the typical Godard style, In Praise of Love's essence is told through its characters' conversational criticisms towards art, literature, philosophy, politics, capitalism, and cinema, all displayed through the unstructured use of digital video that has the director's distinct, rebellious look and feel. It is amazing that at 73 Godard still has the capability to successfully redefine how we look at film. In Praise of Love definitely requires repeat viewings and may not be for everyone, but for those interested it is well worth it. --Rob Bracco

Special Features

  • In French with optional English subtitles

Product Details

  • Actors:  Cécile Camp Bruno Putzulu
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: New Yorker
  • DVD Release Date: July 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009YXIS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,416 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In Praise Of Love" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 30, 2004
Format: DVD
Jean-Luc Godard has once again created a wholly unique cinematic experience in his IN PRAISE OF LOVE. The film requires participation (yes, even work) on the part of the viewer, but the contents of this art piece are so refined and so significant that it begs for repeated viewings, much like the major novels of history. His technique of telling his 'story' is idiosyncratic: there is a narrator who is at the end of a ten-year love affair and wondering why it ended. He states at both the beginning and end of the film that a love afair is in four stages: meeting, sexual passion, separation, and rediscovery. And in exploring the impact of the miracle of love he proceeds to investigate memory and history and how they are inextricably bound in our perception of the world both past and present. To present his case the narrator begins to cast a film to explain his story and selects at least one young girl to play the lover, only to have her blend into the fabric of the remaining of the film just the way glimpses become pieces of memory - distorted, illuminated, altered, reinvented by our present and our past. Much of the film is shot in luminous black and white and then the latter portion is altered by the introduction of color. But in the color portion the fields of color are manipulated into bands of brilliance that are at times artificial, at times precise. An elderly couple is interviewed, homeless people populate portions, making derisive comments on society and especially capitalism, the streets of Paris are there for wandering: Godard free associates visually and philosophically and leaves us with so many beautiful thoughts and phrases and images that one viewing of this film simply cannot suffice to capture them all.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
If you only know Godard from his 1960's films this late phase masterpiece will come as a surprise. In Praise of Love could just as well be titled In Praise of French Culture as this film is like a testament to all of the things Godard loves most about his countries cultural traditions. We know Godards taste in philosophy, music, literature, painting and most importantly film because his favorite sources decorate every frame of the film. References abound within the film to Robert Bresson -- who I think could well be called the patron saint of French Cinema. The New Wave film makers were always fond of Bresson but here Godard not only shows a young man standing in front of a movie poster for Pickpocket but he also quotes from Notes of a Cinematographer-- this book provides wonderful insights into Bressons mind set but also Godards who obviously reveres him . There is also a moving reference to Vigo's L'Atalante. The Godard of the 90's is a much matured artist less concerned with shaking things up than with learning how and teaching us how we must look backward and remember in order to move forward. The view of an aging artist yes but also the view of a mature artist.
The first half of In Praise of Love is shot in black and white and the most memorable shots are of Paris at night -- the cinematography is achingly romantic which is fitting for the first halfs main theme is the search for romantic love.
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Format: DVD
Stark black and white; scenes that one would never see in any American film-- the man and woman facing away from camera, long shot, several minutes, dialog only; Palletes of Van Goghs ``Sailboats`` -- can the garish color mean otherwise?

If you have seen the masterpieces of director Werner Herzog, you will recognize his influence here.

Criticism: Chapter titles needed to be translated into subtitles.
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Format: DVD
I really love this film. Like most of Godard's best work, it yields itself to repeated viewings (I have seen it now 4 times) because it is such a rich work, including so many ideas (on language, love, memory, Paris, America, poverty, and of course cinema). The film is very much like a novel in that each scene is imbued with more and more layers one on top of the other. Highly complex, original, and intelligent cinema is hard to come by nowadays, so thank you Jean-Luc for making movies for INTELLIGENT people.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a movie which should really never be seen for the first time.

I bought the DVD after reading a reference to the movie in the New Yorker magazine. I was open-minded, not knowing at all what to expect. I had never seen a Godard film before, being much more familiar with German cinema than French.

Half way through the film, I was thinking - there is no plot, the dialog ranges from unintelligible to utterly pointless, absolutely nothing is happening, there are no characters I care the least bit for, the actors seem totally oblivious to where the camera is (half the time their backs are turned to us while speaking, or doing whatever they are doing - which seems to be nothing of any interest most of the time). Most astonishingly, Godard at frequent intervals seems to despair of showing us anything at all, and the screen fades to black... and stays that way for lo-o-o-o-ng seconds, sometimes with (pointless) dialog, sometimes with nothing at all. When it was all over, I still had no idea whatsoever what it was about.

But - but, but, but.... I can't remember when I've last seen a movie I found so compelling, so arresting, so utterly mesmerizing, so ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL. I couldn't tear my eyes away. (With two annoying exceptions*) every scene was absolute perfection, every line precisely the right line. I keep re-playing it over and over again in my head. I can't wait to watch it again. THIS IS WHAT GOOD CINEMA IS ALL ABOUT. Highest recommendations - see it, buy it - it will change what you think about movies.

.... After three viewings of this movie, I need to amend my comments slightly. What marks this movie apart from most others one sees is its depth.
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