The Image Book

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Year: 2019
Running Time: 84
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Country: Switzerland
Language: French with English subtitiles
Subjects: Film Studies
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The Image Book

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

The legendary Jean-Luc Godard adds to his influential, iconoclastic legacy with this provocative collage film essay, a vast ontological inquiry into the history of the moving image and a commentary on the contemporary world. Winner of the first Special Palme d'Or to be awarded in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, The Image Book is another extraordinary addition to the French master's vast filmography.
Displaying an encyclopedic grasp of cinema and its history, Godard pieces together fragments and clips them from some of the greatest films of the past, then digitally alters, bleaches, and washes them, all in the service of reflecting on what he sees in front of him and what he makes of the dissonance that surrounds him. He uses his own voice, reminiscent of those of Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan in the twilights of their careers, to guide us through the fascinating labyrinth of his mind. In some cases, it is to reflect on the metaphysical properties of the world — time, and space, and where meaning is found — but more importantly it is the image, the thing that has obsessed Godard for his entire career, that anchors this film. His ontological enquiry into the image continues to be one of the most moving in history.
But, as always with Godard, the key issues he raises have to do with the legacy of the last century and its horrors: the incomprehension of Hiroshima and Auschwitz, events that coincided with cinema but which have somehow eluded its gaze. And, movingly, The Image Book also reflects on orientalism and the Arab world, grounding the new film very much in the present. — Piers Handling, CEO/Director Toronto International Film Festival


“A dense visual and aural collage that I’ve seen twice and expect to see several times more.”

“Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book could not be more of the moment. As ephemeral as a dream… framed with an injunction to keep hope alive.”

“Momentous. A kaleidoscopic bulletin on the state of our world.”

“Visceral. A conclusive statement in this far-reaching work from one of the great media artists of the last century."

“A thrillingly dissonant, deafening synesthesia... with an unexpected urgency and visceral strangeness.”

“Radical. A Dadaist treatise on cinematic representation, violence, the fate of the world.”

“Exhilarating… cerebral. A strange, melancholy pleasure, and an open window into the world of things that worry its creator.”

“Radical and rigorous. The act of watching The Image Book feels like a process of categorization, of putting words and images into cognitive compartments so that the sensual can translate into sense.”

“Feels like a gesture of finality for this most active of cinema-thinkers and cinema-makers, but one founded in passing to us, the audience and potential image-makers ourselves, the means of understanding and therefore the possibility for change.”


  • Special Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival

  • Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival

  • Official Selection, New York Film Festival

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Venue City Date
Denver Film Society Denver 1553832000March 29 - April 4, 2019
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Boston 1552021200Coming Soon
Harvard Film Archive Cambridge 1552021200Coming Soon
Walker Art Center Minneapolis 1552021200Coming Soon
Grand Illusion Cinema Seattle 1552021200March 8 - March 14, 2019
Vancouver International Film Centre Vancouver 1551416400March 1 - March 13, 2019
Minor Theatre Arcata 1551416400Coming Soon
American Cinematheque - Egyptian Theatre Los Angeles 1551416400March 1 - March 7, 2019
Alamo Drafthouse New Mission San Francisco 1551416400March 1 - March 7, 2019
Ryder Film Series Bloomington 1551416400March 1 - March 17, 2019
Oklahoma City Museum of Art Oklahoma City 1551416400March 1 - March 3, 2019
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Houston 1551330000February 28 - March 9, 2019
Cable Car Cinema Providence 1550984400February 24 - March 2, 2019
Plaza Theatre Atlanta 1550811600February 22 - February 28, 2019
Film Scene Iowa City 1550811600February 22 - February 28, 2019
Portland Museum of Art Portland 1550811600February 22 - February 24, 2019
Seattle Art Museum Seattle 1550552400February 19, 2019
American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Los Angeles 1550206800February 15 - February 21, 2019
Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers Yonkers 1549947600Coming Soon
Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus 1549515600February 7 - February 8, 2019
Honolulu Museum of Art Honolulu 1549083600February 2 - February 5, 2019
Pacific Film Archive Berkeley 1548997200February 1 - February 9, 2019
Lake Worth Playhouse Lake Worth 1548997200February 1 - February 7, 2019
Miami Beach Cinematheque Miami Beach 1548997200February 1 - February 7, 2019
Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago 1548997200February 1 - February 21, 2019
Mayfair Ottawa 1548997200February 1 - February 7, 2019
Calgary Cinematheque Calgary 1548910800January 31, 2019
National Gallery of Art Washington 1548565200January 27, 2019
Film at Lincoln Center New York 1548392400January 25 - January 31, 2019
IFC Center New York 1548392400January 25 - January 31, 2019
TIFF Bell Lightbox Toronto 1548392400January 25 - January 31, 2019
Cinema St. Louis/St. Louis International Film Festival St. Louis 1541044800November 1 - November 11, 2018
Virginia Film Festival Charlottesville 1541044800November 1 - November 4, 2018
Denver Film Festival Denver 1540958400October 31 - November 11, 2018
Art Gallery of Hamilton Hamilton 1540094400October 21, 2018
Philadelphia Film Festival Philadelphia 1539835200October 18 - October 24, 2018
Vancouver Int'l Film Festival Vancouver 1538539200October 3 - October 14, 2018
Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal 1538539200October 3 - October 14, 2018
New York Film Festival New York 1538107200September 28 - October 14, 2018

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