Synopsis by Brian Whitener
Produced for French television, Scenario du Film Passion is a unique glimpse into Jean-Luc Godard's filmmaking practice as well as a philosophical meditation on the nature of creativity. Like many of the French New Wave directors, Godard has shown a disinclination to work from a script, preferring instead to create extemporaneously. In the 1980s, however, Godard began "scripting" films on video before shooting -- sketching with images as it were. This video, made while Godard was working on Passion, is both that film's script and its deconstruction. In a video editing suite, Godard sits in front of a white film screen narrating, philosophizing, and lecturing the viewers as he makes and unmakes his scenario. Godard deflects criticism of this indulgent enterprise from the film's opening, where he announces, "Good evening, friends and enemies." Thankfully, Godard rarely indulges his hubris. Instead, while we are able to watch his composition practice unfold, he discusses frankly the motivations behind his filmmaking and, in a particularly poignant moment, lectures eloquently on Tintoretto's Bacchus and Ariadne, the painting that inspired him to make Passion. The result is an important historical document and a revealing study of the creative process.