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 »
On a movie set, in a factory, and at a hotel, Godard explores the nature of work, love and film making. While Solidarity takes on the Polish government, a Polish film director, Jerzy, is ... 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 »
In a palace of Paris. Two detectives are investigating a two-year-old murder. Emile and Francoise Chenal are putting pressure on Jim Fox Warner, a boxing manager, who owes them a huge ... See full summary »
Carmen is a member of a terrorist gang who falls in love with a young police officer guarding a bank that she and her cohorts try to rob. She leads him on while dragging the two of them ... See full summary »
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 »
In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father's petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel ... See full summary »
It's not possible for me at this point to go through every Godard film, but it's also of no interest. Naturally, I may be missing shades or nuance of his film personality, but what's of interest to me, is to be able to see in these snapshots removed by time how he has evolved or stayed the same, how the old conundrums are expressed in new ways and is there a chronicle here of time gone.
The title here may be in reference to a number of things, what I get from it though, is the transfiguration of New Wave expression. None of the subsequent Godard films I've seen has been any less New Wave than his New Wave films, but what is New Wave now, as opposed to thirty years ago?
It stands out immediately to me that his Michel Poiccards have aged, that Godard has aged with them, mellowed perhaps by a certain failure to become instruments in the shaping of a better world, by a recognition that they're still standing on the same inscrutable dilemmas about love and death and that a wind of change didn't sweep them up or passed them by. Godard approaches politics here, as he did before. This time, the bitter realization of an unjust world is spoken not by romantic fools in the middle of an irreverent crime spree, but corporate people in suits and ties as they strike business deals. This is done without the gloating of triumph, like perhaps the Michel Poiccards and Pierrots grew up to inevitably conform and ruminate.
Alain Delon walks through this with sometimes a look of curious dispassion, sometimes weary astonishment, with a contradiction. As with Prenom Carmen, I see in Godard a willingness to meditate on the nature of things, to let go and be at peace. His characters quip philosophically in constant verbiage, but the film pauses to observe, to record branches of trees or clouds passing over a dark sun. The contradiction, as it were, is rooted for me in a certain kind of acceptance, or the dawning of it. This world may not be better, what these people dreamed in their youth, but it's not so bad either.
One line particularly stands out for me in this acceptance. "There is no higher judge; what isn't resolved by love, stays in suspense". This is one of the most beautiful things I've heard in film, and more, knowing a little of Godard, the contrast amazes me.
Alphaville ends with a similar declaration of the importance of love, but it comes in a point in time for Godard that I feel unconvinced by it, do I take it seriously or is it also part of the joke. Here it's done without irony.
This is important for me not only because it points a way out of the mind, but because it celebrates a meaningful universe even at the absence of a higher decree. If Godard's life and work is narrative, and this is what I'm pursuing in my quest, Nouvelle Vague would make for a soaring finale. But it's not a finale, so things are bound to get even more interesting.
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