Over the last four decades a succession of advances in home theater technology – VHS, DVD, Netflix and other online streaming platforms – has drawn filmgoers from public theaters to the private small screen, dramatically affecting the way audiences consume films. Yet what is only now beginning to be explored is how this radical shift in audience viewing practices has affected filmmakers’ products. Jean-Luc Godard is an auteur particularly sensitive to changes in the film industry, and in his outspoken attitudes and distinctive techniques he often acts as a barometer for the state of the cinema. By conducting a close examination of three of Godard’s metafilms –
Contempt [Le Mépris], Passion, and Film Socialisme – I suggest that the home viewing revolution has influenced a shift in the way that Godard considers and constructs film on basic cinematographic and technical levels. I conclude that this case study of Godard may indicate a previously unnoticed or unarticulated step in the aesthetic evolution of the international film industry.
Matthew Jones, ’14
Rapid City, SD
Major: English – Literature Concentration
Sponsor: Kirilka Stavreva