By Jean-Luc Godard
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147 In the end, it came to occupy a lii A TRUE H IST O R Y OF C IN E M A central position in the final version of episode 4A, where Hitchcock is the subject of a lengthy study and homage. Although it is true, therefore, that the episode titles used in the definitive version had all been in place since the late 1980s, several others were dropped, and Godard’s plan during the majority of the project’s gestation had in fact been for a series of ten (five times two) rather than eight (four times two) episodes.
89 Indeed during his talks, he frequently evoked the titles of other films that he would have preferred to have shown had they been available, or had he thought of t hem in advance. 90 These films that he indicates would have been just as good as, if not better than, those that were actually screened, form an im portant parallel corpus in the talks, and many of them came to occupy prominent or strategically important positions in Histoire(s) du cinéma, such as Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958), They Live By Night (Nicholas Ray, 1949), Johnny Guitar (Ray, 1954), People on Sunday, A Film Without Actors (Robert Siodmak and Edgar G.
According to Godard, it was, like episode 3A (La Monnaie de l’absolu), conceived under the direct influence of Malraux, and intended as that episode’s complementary half. In his 1988 dialogue with Daney, he indicated that the long sequence de voted to cinema and national identity in the final version of episode 3A was in fact originally designed for use in ‘La Réponse des ténè bres’. 148 Even in 1997, when the final version of the video series was virtually complete, Godard was still appearing to suggest that ‘La Réponse des ténèbres’ exist ed as a separate entity, whereas in fact it is clear that over time he collapsed La Monnaie de l’absolu and ‘La Réponse des ténèbres’ into a single episode, which, for the sake of the argument, we might say is entitled La Monnaie de l’absolu and subtitled ‘La Réponse des ténèbres’.