Jean-Luc Godard's densely packed rumination on the need to create order and beauty in a world ruled by chaos is divided into four distinct but tangentially related stories, including the ... See full summary »
Composed entirely by literary quotations from many different sources and from several historical periods, Godard's film works as an allegory on film. The loose narrative tells about a ... See full summary »
Characterized by deconstructivism and philosophical references and by briefly exposing the good, bad, and ugly periods of the country's history, this post-modern film portrays the abstract ... See full summary »
Man commits himself to living without ulterior motive
Will you take seriously what is before you in the present moment or will you see it merely as fitting into the scheme of things?
The colors you see are just in your mind. You feel like you are looking through glass at the exterior world, but all the colors are just a result of a message from you optic nerve. Goddard is a dualist; he believes that there is an outward reality that corresponds to the inner representations. He vows to love that reality, to take it seriously. You do not invade Iraq when you take your present situation seriously. When you invade Iraq you are relating to your scheme of things; you would like to make some alterations in the scheme. That children will be frightened by your bombs seems insignificant in comparison to the grander scheme of thing, if it even crosses your mind.
The end of the movie corresponds to the reference to Being and Time near the beginning. We need to move beyond thinking about how we are judged by others (either as being up there or down there). The Dick Cheneys of the world would be trapped in this concern for THEM as they rearrange the scheme of things. This could be seen quite clearly in the first President Bush.
Our minds present us with 24 or so different still pictures every second. Our lives (apart from satori or nirvana) are like a flip book.
If I am all there in the present moment won't I end up on welfare? Don't I have to look out for number one? Godard will take his chances. This is not because there is something great about being natural, and it is not because there is something awful about being artificial. It is because he loves. And then when we care about something we build up a predisposition to care about the same sort of thing. At Republic 485d Plato illustrates this phenomenon by talking of channels in our souls. The more water goes down one channel and makes it deeper, the less water will flow down the other channels. Sainthood would come at the end of this process, but the key moments are at the beginning and in the subsequent reaffirmations. If you try to be pure in the present often enough (and with real passion, Kierkegaard would add) you'll end up with an inclination to be that way in the future. It will be easier once you've got the inclination. Then what other people think of you will not be such a deep channel. The real struggle is now.
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