James S. Williams
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Jean-Luc Godard is interested in matters anal, of course most graphically in films like Numéro Deux, Sauve qui peut (la vie), and Passion, and like Jean Cocteau acknowledges the centrality of violence to the artistic process. Godard's erotic play with Cocteau installs Cocteau as a guiding principle for his experimental practice such that Cocteau himself becomes a primary agent of sublimation for Godard. The resurrection of flowers in King Lear is an utterly concrete demonstration of Cocteau's filmic process of thinking through one's hands, an act to which Godard directly aspires through means of montage. In his valedictory film Le Testament d'Orphée, Cocteau cut a solitary figure. Cocteau functions for Godard as both sublime and abject, ideal and false, as suggested even by Godard's early review of Orphée when he refers to the film as 'poésie de contrebande' and to Cocteau's confessional statement that he entered the cinema fraudulently.

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