Jean-Luc Godard's densely packed rumination on the need to create order and beauty in a world ruled by chaos is divided into four distinct but tangentially related stories, including the ... See full summary »
Characterized by deconstructivism and philosophical references and by briefly exposing the good, bad, and ugly periods of the country's history, this post-modern film portrays the abstract ... See full summary »
Composed entirely by literary quotations from many different sources and from several historical periods, Godard's film works as an allegory on film. The loose narrative tells about a ... See full summary »
A symphony in three movements. Things such as a Mediterranean cruise, numerous conversations, in numerous languages, between the passengers, almost all of whom are on holiday... Our Europe. At night, a sister and her younger brother have summoned their parents to appear before the court of their childhood. The children demand serious explanations of the themes of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Our humanities. Visits to six sites of true or false myths: Egypt, Palestine, Odessa, Hellas, Naples and Barcelona.
Godard seemed to always be concerned with the pretension of language being inadequate to convey meaning, which is stated more clearly in the title of his 2014 film, Goodbye to Language. Not only does he suggest language is a poor mediator of meaning (in a fashion so incoherent that you have to figure this out from second hand accounts in many cases... or from longterm fanboyism), but he makes sure you won't get any meaning out of the film by making it inscrutable and fractured. There is little to cling to. Characters come and go, nameless ones, who fail to be more than ghostly stereotypes that function as many different mouthpieces for Godard.
There are political references, mentions of Stalin, Hitler, other dictators, communists, events related to WWII or occurring just before or after it, colonialism, etc... Some of the references are obscure, some quite well known, but they're all thrown around in an incoherent jumble. Never much more than a bunch of ideas that one can mostly only guess about.Most ideas remain too undeveloped to be interesting or garner much though from the viewer. It's mostly just name dropping and references. His films took a turn for an essayistic style—essentially essay films, barraging an audience with many ideas, skits, monologues, visuals, poems, sounds, music, etc. in a sometimes pleasing medley—he could convey so much, often doing so with considerable panache, but it seems to me that he's becoming less coherent and fails to be interesting in his experiments it's all so detached. Early iterations of his style had a semblance of narrative to run the ideas through or developed mouthpieces that could be more easily identified as a sign of something. He's gone too far into the excesses of postmodernism and has failed to craft an engaging piece of cinema. No, this is more like unfunny (okay so sometimes it is funny: "Go invade another country," says a rude girl when pressed for an answer by tourists—oh, and this is while she's reading Balzac, which is revealed with a camera zoom, followed by random shots of a llama and disconnected shards of dialogue) comedy vignettes than cinema. Godard actually comes off as a bit of a memelord here—the man always was with the times the hyperactive nature and strange soundbites lend it that kind of quality, not to mention the cat video that Alissa watches (accompanied by her obnoxious imitation "meow."
The chronology of the movie seems to be Part 1: Godard goes on a cruise with his rich friends. Part 2: Godard films in his backyard and focuses on a family. Part 3: Archival footage that mercifully does away with all the annoying characters
Many images do not work very well with the spoken word, and one might argue: that is the point. The actors don't really act—they're there to be mouthpieces, even more so than many older Godard movies. They're little more than a source being cited in a paper. Actor's often speak in a loopy French sing-song poetic style, which contradicts the rather prosaic lines often spoken, not to mention the chopped up mess that are the subtitles of this film—Navajo English, which is one of Godard's jokes for translating the french into English and cutting out words on a whim to make less sense than he usually makes.
Compared to his old work with Raoul Cotard, the cinematography is rather ugly at many points. He uses many different digital cameras—from webcams to professional cinema cameras. There are digital artifacts and he tends to heavily oversaturate the colors in certain scenes to the point where the images look warped. Some shots look lovely but there's no real rhyme or reason to it, no consistency. Random canted angles of random things happening on the cruise ship, for example—random montages, etc.
One example of a scene would be the year 1936 being referenced. Following that, a woman on screen has a monologue about Moscow's and other countries involvement in the Spanish Civil War. Matryoshka dolls are sitting around her in the foreground. She is arguing with a person, and the movement of gold out of the Spanish bank is a key topic. Some other woman, unseen in the background, begins to babble something unrelated, some of it while the first woman is still talking. A male character approaches the first woman, ruffles her hair, and name drops a communist, then walks away... that's what most of the movie is like, only less interesting.
Godard is just some elitist who expects everyone to learn his language, not like language is an effective means of expression, according to him, the absurdist. Luckily the DVD has full English subs, not that it makes a lot of sense most of the time, anyway.
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