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 »
Charlotte is young and modern, not a hair out of place, superficial, cool; she reads fashion magazines - does she have the perfect bust? She lives in a Paris suburb with her son and her ... See full summary »
The idea is simple: A married woman and a single man meet. They love, they argue, fists fly. A dog strays between town and country. The seasons pass. The man and woman meet again. The dog ... See full summary »
During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist ... See full summary »
In this film, 'Her' refers to both Paris, the character of Juliette Janson and the actress playing her, Marina Vlady. The film is a kind of dramatised documentary, illustrating and ... See full summary »
Paul is young, just demobbed from national service in the French Army, and dishillusioned with civilian life. As his girlfriend builds herself a career as a pop singer, Paul becomes more ... See full summary »
Set in the near future, Paula, a leftist writer, goes from Paris to the French town of Atlantic-Cité when she learns of the death of a former colleague and lover, Richard P. Is she there to... See full summary »
Godard's documentation of late 1960's western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of ... 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 with a young woman he had already met three years earlier. Just as the project is about to become reality, all problems of an artistic or financial nature having been resolved, the author learns that the young woman has died. Part two concerns the events of three years earlier. While interviewing an historian, the future author meets for the first time the young woman, who is training as a lawyer. She has been asked by her own grandparents, formerly of the French resistance, to examine a contract offered to them by Americans who want to make a film about their activities during the Nazi occupation of France. Written by
Having pursued the political chimera that failed him in the 70's, Godard turned inwards. Having pursued, upon that realization, the reality of the mind, he discovers that only illusions inhabit it, and that it cannot be our saving grace nor can we truly know the world with it.
I come into these last few films in my Godard quest, with all its frustrations and rewards, for the last, transcendent leg of the journey beyond mind.
The answer by this film is no, and it further shows the limitations of what Godard had to deal with.
It's not that his creative powers, indeed his stubborness despite everything to exact moments of rare beauty out of nothing, have abadoned him or that he has outlasted his problems and inner demons because what was relevant in the 60's is very much relevant now and can still haunt as it it did then, but that as a matter of course he appears here uninspired.
So we get the old adagios on love and memory, the mind's annoying old habit of seeking truth or meaning, which we've heard elsewhere in his films in better form and proved to bring us not one step closer to a liberating awareness. We get "Every thought must recall the debris of a smile", banalities like he quoted in films like Pierrot, when he didn't know any better whereas now he does.
These things, which had led Godard earlier to realize the mind's impotence in the face of the great questions, are now mechanically, habitually repeated. Having lead nowhere then these ruminations, earlier a Socratic tool by which to interrogate the mind, now become tiresome, a purpose unto themselves. And more, the realization that wonderfully closes the Histoire(s) films, that only when life is lived in full, with all the powers available in our body, only then can life accept itself as the true answer, turns out to have been only reasoned, not truly felt. Instead of using it then as a tool of departure and reinvention by which to create a new cinema, Godard gives us more Nouvelle Vague, now mired in stagnation.
There's one marvelous touch in the film though: that present time is given to us in black and white, and the prolonged flashback that follows in the second half in garish colors. This is not a simple flashback then but memory, reality relived, which exists after the fact, always a step ahead of real life if we permit it. That is to say, if we never have memories of having remembered, memory can only take place "now", by assuming the place of reality.
Be sure how to express all that is communicated by silence and immobility, he quotes this by Robert Bresson as he did in the past. Yet he takes little from it, judging by this film. Little silence in which to meditate on the world as it is, instead more of the same old intellectual conundrums which, having been posed earlier in his work, by now should have been accepted or declined.
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