Modernism as a Misnomer: Godard's Archeology of the Image


  • Gabriel Rockhill Villanova University



"The standard historical image of Jean-Luc Godard is that of a resolute iconoclast breaking with the representational norms and codes of classical cinema in the name of liberating film from the deadening weight of its past. His numerous formal innovations—syncopated montage, unconventional framing, unique experiments with dialogue, etc.—along with his abandonment of traditional narrative and character development, his playful pastiche of genres, his debunking of the representational illusions of cinematic realism, his reflexive preoccupation with film itself and the general dissolution of the distinction between high and low art have created a potent new form of cinema that continues to have far-reaching effects. More experimental than Truffaut, more temerarious than Chabrol, but less fastidious than Resnais, less obtuse and prolix than Rivette, Godard is seen as the bumptious enfant terrible of the Cahiers du cinéma who set the agenda for a new era of modernist filmmaking..."

Author Biography

Gabriel Rockhill, Villanova University

Gabriel Rockhill is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University (Philadelphia), Directeur de programme at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris and Chercheur associé at the Centre de Recherches sur les Arts et le Langage (CNRS/EHESS). He is the author of Logique de l’histoire: Pour une analytique des pratiques philosophiques (Éditions Hermann, 2010) and is currently completing a book entitled Radical History and the Politics of Art for Columbia University Press.  He co-edited and contributed to Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique: Dialogues (Columbia University Press, 2011), Jacques Rancière: History, Politics, Aesthetics (Duke University Press, 2009) and Technologies de contrôle dans la mondialisation: Enjeux politiques, éthiques et esthétiques (Editions Kimé, 2009). He also edited and translated Jacques Rancière’s The Politics of Aesthetics (Continuum Books, 2004) as well as Cornelius Castoriadis’s Postscript on Insignificance (Continuum Books, 2011).