Jean-Luc Godard’s Slow Motion. Aka Sauve la vie (qui peut). Aka Every Man For Himself. Reconstructed.

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Well, this is an interesting and unusual turn of events.

Next week the Michael Witt-engineered reconstruction of Jean-Luc Godard’s Slow Motion (Aka Sauve la vie (qui peut), or Every Man For Himself, deepening on which country you’re watching the film in) plays. Screening as a part of the University Of Bradford’s Timecode series of seminars, this version of the film premiered at Birkbeck university late last year to tie-in with Witt’s latest book on Godard, Cinema Historian (which we reviewed here). It’s a mysterious sounding project, but here’s a section of the blurb from Birkbeck’s promotion of their event.

While delivering a series of talks in Rotterdam in October 1980-1981, Godard created a ‘special edition’ of his 1980 film Sauve qui peut (la vie) (Every Man for Himself, aka Slow Motion), in which he interspersed five extracts from his own film with clips from four others: Eisenstein and Alexandrov’s The General Line (1929), Cline and Keaton’s Cops (1922), Visconti’s The Earth Trembles (1948), and Wajda’s Man of Marble (1977). He called this remarkable compilation film Sauve la vie (qui peut); it was shown once (during the Rotterdam Film Festival 1981), subsequently almost completely forgotten and is presumed to be lost. Michael Witt has produced a digital reconstruction of Sauve la vie (qui peut) drawing on archival research, including examination of the original reels of film that Godard used.

More information on what is set to be a fascinating evening can be found here.

Godard was on great form during the promotional trail for Slow Motion. Here’s the first part of an extensive interview he did on the Dick Cavett show in America.

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