This was extremely interesting seeing these two major influences on film as we know it, sitting down and speaking to each other. What can I say? It was simply a great experience anticipating and trying to guess what Godard was going to ask Woody Allen. It also was neat to see a humanized and curious Jean-Luc Godard ask questions to such a different type, yet equally as important, film maker.
I am glad Godard brought up the subject of television. What great directors though of television has always been a curiosity to me. Godard told Woody Allen that it has a negative effect on his creative process and compared it to radiation poisoning. I am pretty sure—due to the language barrier—Woody Allen misunderstood the question. Yet, it may have been a little bit after—Woody Allen said that television is a mere appliance not an art. However, Godard seemed to expose a contradiction in Woody Allen’s statement by bringing up a shot of buildings in one of his films. He asked him if the shot would have been the same if he lived in a country where TV. did not exist. Woody Allen drew blank, and eventually said it may have been. Godard basically was making a statement that T.V subconsciously affects us. They then moved on to discussing the creative process, as seen untainted by television.
Woody Allen has never watched the entirety of a single film he has made. He spoke of coming up with the greatest and most beautiful idea, the excitement that comes with that idea, and the eventual frustration that comes with not being able to produce that perfect image in his head. He does not want to watch the finished project because all he can see is the imperfections. He feels that directing is a tedious process, he is just glad he can do something tedious with film. Like most great artist, both Godard and Allen are never satisfied, nothing they produce meets the standards they produce in their head, and they will always stride for perfection, producing the perfect piece of art. We may see their art as beautiful and flawless, but in their eyes they will never see anything they produce as perfect (let alone satisfactory). Great artists are in constant battle with themselves…and they will never be satisfied.