Jean-Luc Godard's Hail Mary: Women and the Sacred in Film
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Maryel Locke and Charles Warren present twelve original essays by film critics, filmmakers, theologians, and philosophers that examine the 1985 film Hail Mary, directed by Jean-Luc Godard, and its companion film, The Book of Mary, directed by Anne-Marie Miéville. (The films are collectively released under the title Hail Mary.) The interpretative essays offer a rich spectrum of analysis and opinion representing many divergent points of view about critical theory, the status of women, and the value of film as a medium. Locke and Warren also include two important interviews with Godard, brief biographies and complete filmographies of Godard and Miéville, a short breakdown of the two films including the English subtitles, and the script of the French dialogue to complete a remarkably comprehensive treatment of this important film.
The only film based on the biblical story of the Virgin Mary, Godard’s Hail Mary is a contemporary Swiss/French representation of Mary’s virgin pregnancy, the birth of her son, and her relationship with Joseph and her young child. Miéville’s companion film is about a young girl named Mary whose parents get a divorce. While neither film is overtly religious, the initial release of Hail Mary brought public protests, court cases, a physical attack on Godard, and condemnation by the Pope.
events that happen in the film. But the sight of water reflecting light cannot fail to suggest still more: film itself as a subject for this film. The surface is like a screen. Is the light a filmmakers lamp? Who throws the objects into the watera director?making the light move on the surface, bringing the surface to life? (And here the idea of water as an imaginative medium or power reflects back to the rain seen watering the earth in the film's first shot.) This business is strangely like
when asked. Charles Warren wants to thank Katherine Kimball for her help and encouragement all through the working out of this book. Page xvii Foreword Prénom:Marie Stanley Cavell They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear. Shakespeare, Ali's Well
concern for form predominates). The publicity attending upon Je vous salue, Marie and the attention paid to it by the Catholic church ("Banned in Boston") seem particularly misplaced in view of the fact that Godard's real subject matter is the search for cinematic form. Je vous salue, Marie should be taken seriously as a dramatization of the crisis that pervades today's cinema. In the Aitpress interview, Godard says that he considers the film a failure because the collaboration necessary for
screening of Lumiere's The Arrival of a Train or when Griffith showed the close-up of a face without trunk and limbs). Never was any art medium so hurriedly absorbed and adapted for mass consumption. Never, it seems at times, will any art medium be left so misunderstood or little understood. The attempts to understand this "mother," the analytical or critical theories around cinema, have not had a slow evolutionary process of development, as with criticism of literature, painting, and other arts.
ironing, turns her head sharply after repeated car honks. DVORÁK PHRASE] Mary: There's no escape. [DVORÁK; CAR HORN] 64. LS. High angle. In daylight, Joseph stands alongside his parked taxi honking the horn. He puts his jacket in the rear trunk, honks again, then runs off to the right up a flight of steps. [STREET NOISE; CAR HORN; DVORÁK] 65. CU. Low angle. Joseph, the sun behind him, speaks and looks downward. [DVORÁK] Joseph: What is this? Miracles don't exist. [DVORÁK ENDS] Kiss me. What