In the near future, leftist writer Paula 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 »
How do we learn? What do we know? Night after night, not long before dawn, two young adults, Patricia and Emile, meet on a sound stage to discuss learning, discourse, and the path to ... 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 exaggerating the emotionless lives of characters in the new Paris of the 60s, where commercialism mocks families getting by on small incomes, where prostitution is a moneyspinning option, and where people are coldly resigned and immune to the human nightmares of Vietnam, and impending Atomic war.Written by
Histoire d'eau - Godard and the ultimate cinema of flux.
Stagily whispered narration, more like idle gossip than full-blown conspiracy.
Non-sequiturial loose-ends of non-communication between the characters, and conversations between the actors and the director which we are not allowed to follow.
Uncommunicative and unengaged philosophico-political maunderings of citizens who are floundering conceptually in a system that cannot sustain them, either morally or intellectually.
A view of Parisian building-sites as a social upheaval which yet represents the antithesis of any structural or constructivist manifestation of social progress.
A film that is, like the capitalist society that has the eye of the camera hypnotised, a profoundly blank and alienating surface, whose technique is only occasionally relieved by gratuitous scenes of meaning:
A woman trapped in a sink estate and yearning to be free, who is compelled by the desparation of her dream to entrap and enslave herself even further through prostitution;
The intrusion of a pimp-like meter-reader into the pure nakedness of private space;
A creche in a brothel;
A secular catechesis - The simple, non-sexual, non-manipulative dialectic of honest exploration that makes us human;
The still-birth of revolutionary thought as the spiral galaxy in a coffee-cup ...
All-in-all, the representation of a society which is profoundly inhospitable to the human beings who should constitute it, and which consequently does not permit the realisation of any aspect of humanity.
All we get are fugitive glimpses of life in the process of moral and intellectual decay. Thought and character remains unrealised, and the film is therefore also inchoate as the necessary reflection of this social unreality.
Here is a wan world, haemmoraging meaning as we watch. Here before us are the helpless ghosts of an industrial medium. They dance fitfully in the unchanging wind, the fantastic commercial simulacra in which we bind our free nature.
Strips of film, strung out like human fly-paper, where fluttering images stick only as they die. In place of creative pressure, an air of ennui, of carelessness: A drop-out film - a film of drop-outs, plot-holes in the threadbare social fabric, - neglectful of all appearances. The face of the film gazes basilisk-like out upon the viewer, resentful of our settled habits of non-involvement. Two frozen gazes cancel, the mutual incomprehension only verging on hostile irritation. No reaction. No drama. The light dies.
The hypnotic mirror of reproach whose conscience we yearn to assuage, that traps our humanity in the voyeur's dream, as it is projected back upon us in the Gorgon's gaze.
Desire is petrified - one's petty film-going expectations of this penetration of dark places disappointed. One escapes from the deathly spell of cinema into the real world.
Godard's lesson is that there is nothing meaningful in this cave of artificial shadows, and that he will bitterly wean us from our facile consumerist dreams, that we may the better engage with the harsh political realities of life.
The radically disillusioned auteur deconstructs himself. Le derniere vague flops exhausted on that endless strip where empty sprocket-holes run on aimlessly towards a dying sun.
The mechanism of dreams runs down.
We are not automata - we are made up by life. To live is the story we enact, without intermediary, and unmediated. The immediate and the authentic are alien to art. Art is a whispering empty shell left high and dry. Life is not the element of dead things: Do not listen to the shallow siren voice of le faux vague! Plunge back into humanity's proper medium.
Thus does a revolution in seeing strip out the gelatinous scales of our burned-out eyes, and there is no more interference with the wavelengths of light being broadcast from the nearest star.
Thus do the sighing bones of life articulate the bounds of existence.
We are the tides that wax and wane - the ocean that overwhelms itself, drowning its own waves in one flood of being.
Godard's film and films are under the influence of this larger movement. With his work, we are cast adrift from all anchors and familiar landmarks. We are 'all at sea'. There is a transition - a movement that is perhaps nearer to momentum than inertia - from whence we cannot recall to whither we cannot see. His is the ultimate cinema of flux.
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