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 »
In part one there is talk of a project on the subject of love, with the example of three couples, one young, one mature and the other elderly. At this point the author comes into contact ... See full summary »
Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory. One worker is pressing the wall inwards with a jackscrew, while another is pushing it with a ... See full summary »
A tilted figure, consisting largely of right angles at the beginning, grows by accretion, with the addition of short straight lines and curves which sprout from the existing design. The ... See full summary »
Filmic insert to Eisenstein's modernized, free adaptation of Ostrovskiy's 19th-century Russian stage play, "The Wise Man" ("Na vsyakogo mudretsa dovolno prostoty"). The anti-hero Glumov ... See full summary »
Sergei M. Eisenstein
Sergei M. Eisenstein
A colonial scene in the U.S. An old lady sits astride a bell while a man in blackface, wig, and livery pulls the bell rope. From an upper door emerges an old man, dressed as a dandy, who ... See full summary »
Jean-Luc Godard made this short movie for France Telecom, but it was never officially distributed nor broadcast. See more »
The final title card reads: Realisation: Jean Sebastien Bach, Boy Dylan, Ludwig van Beethoven, John Cage, Richard Strauss, Cesar Franck, Maurice Ravel, Leonard Cohen, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire, James Cain, Jean-Luc Godard, Haroun Tazieff, Voies du Ciel. See more »
One of Godard's lesser known works, "The Power of Speech" feels and reads like great quality visual and sonorous poetry and one of his best moments in the 1980's - but for some reason, this video project went without any proper distribution. In terms of dialog with many different forms of art from several decades, going from Edgar Allan Poe to James M. Cain, using Beethoven, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Ravel as background music, JLG's ambition is limitless; now, deciphering all that and trying to compose a whole image is up to each viewer. It's not easy, and was never meant to be. Once again, we're talking about the l'infant terrible of the French New Wave and his mind and film process goes in too many directions at same time and speed.
The description I read somewhere says this movie is about two couples, one who uses dialogs from "The Postman Rings Twice"; and another one who quotes from a Poe's poem. The one who used of Cain's novel is the most interesting segment, bearing more resemblance with the original work, except it would be an updated version of that printed material, with the married woman making phone calls to Frank, talking about how their love can never be fulfilled. The segment involving the poem exposes the earth's creation and other nature metaphors; you may not fully understand what they're saying and why they say it, but at least they feel more connected to each other than the other couple. To make things more complicated: Godard makes intersections with both segments and it feels all random (it's not, obviously).
It's not the director's intention to make his audience invest their attention in the simple stories, or any deep focus on the "narrative". Godard's aiming at the perversion of words, the subversion of the speech. Gooodbye, language! Speech, words can be subverted, reshaped, redesigned in order to accommodate another situation in another era, and still make complete sense. Duh, you may think. Unlike bringing Shakespeare to modern settings (JLG did with "King Lear") or throw contemporary songs in period pieces, Godard makes of "The Power of Speech" a respectable, multi-layered Frankenstein with countless dimensions. Texts from the 1800's and 1940's plus modern settings dealing with themes such as the distance between lovers, communication problems, technology, love, systems, cultural references...it's all thrown and blended in this fabulous and almost insane monster (Godard finally finds a way to leave politics aside, the feelings that his guerrilla filmmaker days had expired and the Soviets were just about to collapse). The speech, even traded and brought to another space in time, still holds a power.
In terms of what art can bring to our hearts and minds and the dialog between art forms, I find this short film very interesting, loved the images and the way it was all put together. Don't find all too perfect, all too great due to some minor lack of coherence, sometimes it's just too wordy and all those words sound heartless, without conviction, without realism. Not exactly sure if the fault lies with the director/writer or with the actors. Worthy of your time and maybe subsequent views. 7/10
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