It’s now been over 600 days since the world’s most forward-thinking filmmaker, Jean-Luc Godard, left this world, but the icon of the French New Wave and beyond graciously left us with a few works. Last year, the Cannes Film Festival held the premiere of his short Trailer of the Film That Will Never Exist: ‘Phony Wars,’ and this year the festival will screen two final films from Godard and today brings the first images.

First up, running 18 minutes, is Scénarios, for which we have now have an expanded synopsis: “In French, ‘scénario’ is cinema’s name for how it tells stories. This is the title Jean-Luc Godard chose for his final film, which was literally completed the day before his self-death. This did not mean that it would remain unfinished, but that its very unfinishedness would make it complete. Yet Scénario, which then became Scénarios is twofold: DNA, fundamental elements, and MRI, Odyssey. DNA is a biological signature, which gives a human subject its uniqueness; MRI evokes medical imagery and the distress felt by a weakened body, and suggests the subject being dissolved at the whim of magnetic resonance. Between these two polarities, which evoke genesis and decline in a strictly materialistic way, a person’s story unfolds, one made up of a jumble of notes and images, condensed into 18 [minutes].”

The synopsisis continues, “It is a singular yet shared narrative of a life haunted by death, as this film is also a farewell, the lamentation of a funeral. The two segments of this film open with a series of identical sequences. The second segment then diverges and ends on a self-portrait of JLG – his last images – sitting on his bed, bare-chested, he hides none of the wear on his body in the manner of Pigalle’s sculpted portrait of Voltaire. He’s filming himself transcribing twice Jean-Paul Sartre’s logical and witty apologue on non-fingers: thus ends Scénarios, as it began, with a repetition, the figure of eternal return, the moment where time, which has been the great – if not unique – question of cinema, will have ceased to flow.”

Cannes will also screen Exposé du film annonce du film Scénario, a 34-minute film which goes behind the scenes of making the above short. Shot in October 2021, the film captures Jean-Luc Godard presenting his idea for Scénarios, in a film “combining still and moving images, halfway between reading and seeing.” As we greatly await the premieres of both films, check out the images below courtesy of Écran noir productions, Arte France, and Nekojarashi/Roadstead.


Exposé du film annonce du film Scénario:

Lastly, we have one final official headshot of Godard, from Fabrice Aragno.

No more articles