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This film, a companion piece to Hélas pour moi, is so rich in theme and idea that one can only begin to write about it. Godard's artistry (which as always, is total) works like a gadfly across many levels, and so maybe the best way to go about this is to list its main themes.
* Swiss/French Nationality (father, homeland and identity)
* Semiotics of Imagery (composition and idea, the duality of reality, technology)
* Editing (blindness and sight)
* Perception (phenomenology, the humanity of the image)
* Music (the layered nature of sound association/interpretation)
* Politics (current affairs and historical, Europe/America)
* History (literature: in quotation - Rimbaud, Diderot, Kafka etc. and socio-political)
* Oeuvre (reference and statement, responsibility and reputation)
* Time (memory and culture as co-dependent, predictions and 'passing', death.)
* Love (the portrait GIVES, JLG as affect)
* Meditation (the reflective writer, interpretation & truth, translation and puns)
* Cinema Industry (distributors, censors/classification)
* Tennis (Proust)
With so many themes, all patiently painted in close to an hour, we
should admire Godard for his patent fluency. Even in the early 90s he is still at the height of his powers (despite the 70s rumours), much like the peak of the Baroque period several centuries ago.
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