This is not exactly the kind of film one would ever, ever, ever see in any multiplex on the planet- or for that matter in most of the art-house theaters. It's a home movie/essay/rumination/poetic ramble-on from the cranky crane of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard, who filmed the bulk of this his Autoportrait in December in his home. We see him look over photos, write, pontificate about the disconnect of art in society, the nature of semantics, and so on and so on. Needless to say it isn't a complete waste of time from a filmmaker who's as equally talented and daring in his attacks on film style and method as he is a celluloid masturbating wild-man. I did find many of Godard's personally supervised camera set-ups, the tone of the shots, how long each one rests on himself in full ego-bound and ego-questioning glory, at least watchable and at best interesting in how there is some kind of form to the puzzle that Godard presents the audience.
And yet it is, of course, a lot of times impenetrable because of his fervent disavowal of film as something that should be in the slightest bit conventional. I don't mind the central idea behind this approach to film-making, certainly from someone as confident- or at worst arrogant- as the bad boy of French cinema. But try as I might, what one ends up with is still more frustration than anything that can be easily taken away from it. Long gone are the trips into satirizing genre or deconstructing the narrative (yet keeping it) with philosophical and poetic tangents often from books. There is something worthwhile going on in JLG/JLG, but your guess is as good as mine. May be a masterpiece to the most stuck-up film buffs (not that one needs to be, per-say, but I'd imagine mostly snobs who push aside all other conventional product as pure waste), yet there is a reason it's mostly in obscurity as opposed to one of the Criterion releases.
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