An audio-visual painter as much as an iconoclast, dog-lover Godard continues to explore new ways to articulate his musings, cross-referencing both film history, literature, philosophy, painting and music. Just as he previously did with his landmark series Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-98), Godard conceived his most recent project entirely on the editing table. In the credit sequence of Le livre d'image, there are only five names. Godard is listed as the director, the other four as editors. Nicole Brenez is one of them. She reconstructs the genesis of his special ‘out of the box’ project, and her role as both an image hunter and conceptual sounding board.
The author of publications on Abel Ferrara and avant-garde cinema (see for instance her book Jeune, Dure et Pure from 2000), film theorist Brenez first focused on Godard’s legacy with the impressive Jean-Luc Godard: documents, which was published in 2006 on the occasion of the provocative exhibition the enfant terrible of French cinema mounted for the Centre Pompidou. She brings along a rarely seen video document of the first version of this exhibition, which existed only briefly as a tabletop maquette before it was firmly rejected by the prestigious museum. Brenez was also closely involved in the chamber piece version of Le livre d'image, the format currently favoured by Godard himself: a travelling, intimate presentation that accumulates new connotations with each new instalment.