Directed by Frederic Choffat and Vincent Lowy • Documentary • With Marcel Ophuls, Jean-Luc Godard • 2010 • 44 minutes
In 2009, in a small theater in Geneva, Switzerland, the film directors Marcel Ophuls and Jean-Luc Godard met for an unusual, surprisngly intimate and sometimes contentious dialogue with each other in front of a live audience. Luckily for us, it was filmed.
Ophuls' film THE SORROW AND THE PITY triggers Godard to discuss his personal and fragmented childhood memories about his escape to Switzerland during World War, while Ophuls recalls the controversy surrounding the release of his film in France.
The issue of the written word being taken more seriously than the moving image is brought up by Godard. Throughout their meeting, the two directors debate about national and ethnic identities, what it means to be Jewish, the role of the director, and auteur theory, which ultimately reveals why they never collaborated on a tentative film that was once discussed.
MARCEL OPHULS AND JEAN-LUC GODARD: THE MEETING IN ST-GERVAIS gives us the unique opportunity to spend time with an encounter between two of the most influential and idiosyncratic post-war film directors. Godard and Ophuls are in the twilight of their years, but they remain provocative, sharp, and as uncompromising as ever.
"Funny, fascinating, radical" -La Tribune de Geneve