Synopsis by Louis Schwartz
Passion, a major film in Jean-Luc Godard's ongoing investigation of the relations between painting and cinema, uses innovative forms to explore political and economic questions. Jerzy Radziwilowicz plays a director shooting a film whose scenes are all reproductions of paintings by Goya, Valasquez, and other European masters. Production comes to a halt when his producers refuse to increase his budget until he explains the film's story to them. Meanwhile, the director is ending an affair with Hanna (Hanna Schygulla), the wife of Michel (Michel Piccoli), who is the manager of the hotel where the film's cast and crew are staying. In a sub-plot, Isabelle Huppert plays a factory worker who attempts to unionize her fellow employees. The story of Passion is elliptical and incomplete. It is a means of presenting a collection of scenes and images on related themes. This kind of story will become the hallmark of Godard's later career. The links among the episodes become even looser in such films as Germany: Year Nine Zero and For Ever Mozart. Passion marks the reunion of Godard with director of photography Raoul Coutard, who shot many of Godard's films of the 1960s. The cinematography is key to understanding this difficult film in which how an image is shot is as important as what it depicts. Godard and Coutard favor shots that begin as open, disorganized framings and become painterly compositions as the people and things in them move.
budget, director, extramarital-affair, factory, film-director, film-producer, union [labor union]