Quotes from Godard illustrated by his wife and early muse, my own style inspiration and personal patron saint, the lovely and talented* Anna Karina.
All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun. (Journal entry, 5/16/91)
“Light me up!” Still of Anna Karina as Natacha van Braun from Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution / Alphaville (1965)
I don’t think you should feel about a movie. You should feel about a woman. You can’t kiss a movie.
“In films, we are trained by the American way of moviemaking to think we must understand and ‘get’ everything right away. But this is not possible. When you eat a potato, you don’t understand each atom of the potato!” (Interview with David Sherritt, The Christian Science Monitor, 8/3/94)
Une femme est une femme / A Woman is a Woman (1961)
Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self. (Critique called “What Is Cinema?” for Les Amis du Cinéma , 10/1/52, a work which advanced the auteur theory but also kind of ripped off Bazin, which is weird cause Bazin would’ve read it and was a big influence on Godard but this was done contemporaneously of Bazin himself working on something titled this, about this, so maybe the quote is misattributed? … or maybe there is more to it than I know with my tiny ken of French movie guys, maybe it was a done thing to borrow titles from one another, or perhaps it was a continuation of a dialogue they were already having both in person and via publications, or, finally, it could even have been an “understood” question which anyone might use as the title of a book or article … I am probably over-reading it.)
Beauty is composed of an eternal, invariable element whose quantity is extremely difficult to determine, and a relative element which might be, either by turns or all at once, period, fashion, moral, passion. (“Defense and Illustration of Classical Construction,” Cahiers du Cinéma, 9/15/52)
The truth is that there is no terror untempered by some great moral idea. (“Strangers on a Train,” Cahiers du Cinéma 3/10/52 — Godard wrote extensively and insightfully in his early career about the movies of Hitchcock, one of my favorite and I think misunderstood directors; I’ll try to share some good nuggets from time to time)
Anna cahorts about topless as Anne in 1968′s The Magus, also starring Anthony Quinn (Zorba the Greek), Michael Caine, and Candace Bergen (Murphy Brown) — no one seems to like this movie but me. That’s okay, because I like it a lot.
Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second. (Le petit soldad / The Little Soldier, 1963.)
With Jean-Paul Belmondo again, this time as Ferdinand and Marianne in the sort of romantic-tragi-comedy-crime-caper Pierrot le fou / Crazy Pete / Pierre Goes Wild (1965).
To be or not to be? That’s not really a question. (unsourced)
Screencap with subtitles from Une femme est une femme / A Woman is a Woman (1961).