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 ...
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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 attempts by a young group of idealists to stage a play in war-torn Sarajevo and an elderly director's efforts to complete his film.Written by
Godard's sombrest film, this meditation on the triumph of art over atrocity illustrates the Balkans' horrors as the slapdash Brechtian theatre of LES CARABINIERS. But both the world and Godard have changed in the last forty years, and the approach seems offensively academic. Even in films as recent as FIRST NAME: CARMEN and KING LEAR, Godard sprinkled atop his gnomic aphorisms and contrapuntal poetry moments of chaotic, dissonant humor. Here, blank-faced actors recite "Isn't the presence of evil worse than the absence of good?" as if off cue cards. In the pearly, mystical clarity of his images and his sounds--the latter appearing both more naturalistic and rhapsodic than ever--Godard remains a world-class master. But since his recent JLG PAR JLG, it would seem the last movement of his career is toward a crotchety cultural conservatism. His garret full of Goya, Musset and Marivaux seems colder, lonelier and less companionable than ever.
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