9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A Formalist Refusal
meddlecore from Canada
27 September 2005
This short film is Godard's message to the people of Lausanne,
specifically Freddy Buache, giving his reasons why he will not make a
film about their town's 500th anniversary.
First Godard expresses his frustration with the town. When attempting
to film on the side of a highway, they were forced to stop filming by
the local authorities. The officer said they could only stop for an
emergency. Godard replied that it was an emergency because the light
was perfect. The officer wasn't understanding, and Godard complains
that it could take 5 years of shooting to get the necessary lighting
He continues by saying that he can sum up the film in three shots.
Green...a shade of gray...and blue. For this people have called him
dishonest and , and he makes them realize he knows, repeatedly. He then
goes onto to justify his reasons. He describes how lower Lausanne
begins at the water, and upper Lausanne rises to the sky and the
mountains, but the people have came together in the middle and all the
periphery has been lost.
He tells how the shots need only be long enough to show the transfer
from green to blue as it passes through gray. As we move through a
multitude of different examples showing how this shift could be
portrayed, through the eyes of Jean-Luc Godard, he discusses his
cinematic and philosophical reasons why this film, consisting of three
shots, is effective. Citing literary analogies; proposing that the gray
represents the eternity that is those trapped in the middle's reality;
saying that stylistically it needn't be more than form and colours; and
that we must escape from the documentary and examine ourselves
scientifically. This is what he hopes to achieve, and all that he feels
he needs to do in order to capture the essence of Lausanne. I for one
am convinced, but really know nothing about the town.
This is what you get for asking a formalist director to do a
documentary on your town - a formalist response. This film reminded me
of some of the earlier works of Peter Greenaway. Anyone who is a fan of
Godard, Greenaway or other formalist directors should enjoy this film,
which runs about 10mins 30secs in length. I give it a 9 out of 10, as I
couldn't think of a better way to refute the offer.
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