Building a Godard library

The renewed influence of Jean-Luc Godard has sparked a growing wave of video releases and other items based on his work. Here are some of the most interesting.

DVD

* "Alphaville," with Eddie Constantine as a secret agent investigating a city ruled by a computer.

* "First Name: Carmen," with Godard as an eccentric filmmaker whose niece is organizing a political uprising.

* "Pierrot le Fou," with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina as a couple on the run from conventional society.

* "My Life to Live," with Karina as a young woman forced into prostitution by poverty and ill fortune.

Some contain explicit treatments of sex or violence, so check the contents of individual movies.

Books

* "Speaking about Godard," by Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki (New York University Press).

* "The Films of Jean-Luc Godard," by Wheeler Winston Dixon (State University of New York Press).

*"The Films of Jean-Luc Godard: Seeing the Invisible," by David Sterritt (Cambridge University Press).

* "Jean-Luc Godard: Interviews," edited by Sterritt (University Press of Mississippi).

CDs

The adventurous ECM New Series label has released the soundtracks of two major Godard works: "Nouvelle Vague," a film made in 1990, and "Histoire(s) du Cinma," a multifaceted video series. "Histoire(s) du Cinma," available only from Barnes & Noble online (www.bn.com), is an exquisitely produced package including five discs and four beautifully printed books with translations of the narration - plus an interview with Godard.

Voices on the discs include movie stars like Juliette Binoche and authors like Ezra Pound. The eclectic music ranges from Bach and Beethoven to John Coltrane and Leonard Cohen.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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