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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

More on Jean-Luc Godard and Anti-Semitism

03 11 10 - 05:38

So here seems to be the crux of it:

But Mr. Ganis and others in the academy have fielded queries from members who question the propriety of an award that is drawing attention not just to Mr. Godard’s well-known disregard for Hollywood but also to positions and statements in which he has mingled his mistrust of the mainstream movie world with a wariness of traits he associates with Jews.

In one of the more striking such statements, in a 1985 interview in Le Matin quoted in Richard Brody’s 2008 biography, Mr. Godard spoke of the film industry as being bound up in Jewish usury.

“What I find interesting in the cinema is that, from the beginning, there is the idea of debt,” he is quoted as saying. “The real producer is, all the same, the image of the Central European Jew.”

In cataloguing and assessing such pronouncements, Mr. Brody, who is generally admiring in the biography, titled “Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard,” attributed what he called “the hardening and sharpening of Godard’s anti-Semitic attitudes” to factors that included his childhood in war-torn Europe, a turn toward pro-Palestinian radicalism in the 1960s and a complicated view of history in which Mr. Godard has blamed Moses for having corrupted society by bringing mere text, in the form of written law, down from the mountain, after having encountered an actual image, the burning bush. - NYT


Three points of contention:

  • Is the movie industry shaped by the Ashkenazi-German Jewish experience? And its attitudes toward usury.

  • What's the line on pro-Palestinian discourse versus anti-Jewish sentiment? Israel is the Jewish state, so it will catch flack for Jews and vice-versa.

  • Did Moses destroy society with an exoteric/esoteric confusion? Pagans didn't write things down for a reason. Without correct interpreters, words are useless -- and channel reality into a reduced, symbolic, unequal form of itself.

Interesting questions. Is Judaism shaped around usury, guilt and debt? These are themes of the Jewish experience historically, at least, but reading more into them -- well, that's a historian question. Is supporting Palestine anti-Semitic? In that it's destruction of the Jewish state to do so, yes, but people may merely be delusional. The bit on Moses is straight out of DeLillo or Pynchon and is worth further study.

The rest -- bah, media feeding frenzy! Eat dicks.

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