Among the most-anticipated films premiering at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is the final posthumous work from Jean-Luc Godard, who left this world back in September 2022. 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 the final work from Godard and today brings the first trailer.

Scénarios, running 18 minutes, has the following 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 synopsis 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.”

Check out the trailer for Scénarios below.

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