Godard on Originality

The French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard has an excellent quote on originality:

‘It’s not where you take things from. It’s where you take them to.’

I came across this on Doctorow‘s blog where he was quoting Jim Jarmusch who was quoting Godard.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations. Architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable. Originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said, ‘It’s not where you take things from. It’s where you take them to.’”

Both are similar to, but much better than the worn Picasso quote

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *