Godard in Eric Rohmer's Le Signe du Lion, 1959, when he was about 30.
"The public is neither stupid nor intelligent. No one knows what it is. Sometimes it surprises, usually it disappoints. One can't count on it. In one way this is a good thing. In any case it is changing. The old average cinema audience has become the television audience. The cinema audience has divided in two: those who go at the week-end, and those who seek film out. When producers talk to me about audiences, I tell them: 'I know what they're like because I go to all sorts of cinemas and I pay for my seat; you never go anywhere, you don't know what's happening.'"—Godard, in an interview with Cahiers du Cinema, December 1962.
One of the things I learned during the recent Film Society of Lincoln Center Godard retrospective is that condemnations of late Godard running run across lines of "we prefer your earlier cooler films" are, while perhaps tenable on the ultimately utterly banal grounds of individual taste, built on an essential fallacy. There is no divisible Godard. The idea that you can have A bout de souffle and shrug off Le vent d'est is convenient and comfortable but ultimately impossible. If you are talking about the fashion-industry approved version of Godard you're not really talking about Godard at all, but of an aspect of Godard that's been removed from the host organism, so to speak.
Here are a few things I've written about Godard that I don't find entirely embarrasing.
1) An off-the-cuff NYFF-screening based consideration of Film Socialisme.
2) A review of an excellent compilation of Godard/Mieville short films.
3) An official review of the aforementioned Film Socialisme.
4) A reconsideration of some Godard writing that I do find entirely embarassing.
5) A look at the "War on Christmas," Godard/Chandler style.