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Catalog Archive / Spring 2023

Jean-Luc Godard
The Permanent Revolutionary

Wisconsin Film Studies
Patrick McGilligan, Series Editor

“A wonderfully fact-filled new biography of Godard. . . . You immediately want to watch the best of his films again as you read Rebhandl’s confidently narrated book about the filmmaker, which analyzes with genteel restraint.”
Der Spiegel

“Rebhandl has undoubtedly hit it big here.”
—Walter Gasperi, Die Furche

A nuanced look at the cipher of the century—a pioneer of French New Wave cinema

With deep insight and lucid prose, Bert Rebhandl provides a balanced evaluation of the work of one of the most original and influential film directors of all time. In this sympathetic yet critical overview, he argues that Jean-Luc Godard (1930–2022) captured the revolutionary spirit of Paris in the late 1960s as no other filmmaker has dared, and in fact reinvented the medium.

Rebhandl skillfully weaves together biographical information; a synopsis of the French cultural, intellectual, and cinematic milieu over the decades; and descriptions of Godard’s most significant films to support his assertion that the director was a permanent revolutionary—always seeking new ways to create, understand, and comment on film within a larger context. Without shying away from such topics as the long-standing charges of antisemitism against Godard and his oeuvre, Rebhandl views Godard as an artist consistently true to himself while never ceasing to change and evolve, often in unexpected, radical, and controversial ways.


Bert Rebhandl is a freelance journalist whose writings have appeared in such venues as Frankfurter Allgemeine and tipBerlin. He is the author of several previous books written in German.

Bert Rebhandl's Website -

Edward Maltby is a UK-based translator. He holds a degree in modern and medieval languages from Cambridge University.




“A wonderful, dense tapestry of cinematic knowledge, not without a pattern of personal enthusiasm, which lets one walk reasonably safely into the workrooms of a guy who doesn’t exactly welcome guests with open arms.”
Georg Seeßlen, epd Film

“Rebhandl’s lucidly written monograph offers a perfect introduction to Godard’s complex intellectual and cinematic world.”
—Stefan Grissemann, Profil

“Rebhandl’s treatise lends itself to introductory reading, but also provides enough page-turners for Godard connoisseurs. . . . No small feat.”
—Andreas Busche, Tagesspiegel

“Rebhandl’s thorough but compact account is helpful in figuring out an artist who was complex and, in later years, often elusive in his recorded utterances.”
Library Journal

“[A] comprehensive and seminal biography.”
Midwest Book Review



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May 2023
LC: 2022028835 PN
240 pp. 6 x 9
6 b/w photos

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Cloth $34.95 A
ISBN 9780299341800
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