Jean-Luc Godard Histoire(s) du Cinéma (Chapters 1A and 1B) 1988-1989

  • Not on view

Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma is a video collage of film clips, still photographs, on-screen text, and images of the filmmaker and other performers; its theme, Godard professed, is the death of cinema, with his analytical use of video to synthesize images from its history acting as a kind of requiem for the indelible power of film on our collective subconscious. It is effectively an essay on the filmmaker’s disappointment with cinema’s failure to save the world from horror and lead to profound revolutionary change. The full cycle, comprising four chapters (in eight parts) and completed in 1998, set artistic and technological standards for the future of video, a medium that Godard considered more democratic than celluloid and that he had been attracted to and exploring since the early 1970s. Histoire(s) du cinéma, a rarely screened achievement, remains the artist's mostpassionate self-portrait in image and sound.

Gallery label from Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now, November 17, 2011-February 17, 2014.
Two videos (color, sound)
100 min.
Gift of Channel Four Television
Object number
Media and Performance

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to