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 »
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 »
13 European directors explore the theme of Sarajevo and what this city represents in European history over the past hundred years, and what Sarajevo incarnates today in Europe. From ... 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 finds itself between them. The other is in one, the one is in the other and they are three. The former husband shatters everything. A second film begins: the same as the first, and yet not. From the human race we pass to metaphor. This ends in barking and a baby's cries.Written by
The French have always been the greatest thinkers. Philosophy is an art form for them, and an export commodity. Godard is a thinker, first and foremost, and seems to have decided finally that film is a medium for communicating ideas - not for telling stories or for entertainment or even propaganda (despite his lengthy Dziga Vertov phase), but the mere expression of ideas relating to the sociology of human existence. This film is full of ideas, hardly explored, merely expressed. Virtually every line is an epigram, obviously lifted straight from Godard's notebooks, and intoned gravely.
This film might form a trilogy of existential anguish with "Eloge de l'amour" (a goodbye to idealised love) and "Film Socialisme" (a goodbye to an idealised socialist utopia). "Goodbye to Language" is even bleaker: a goodbye to meaning, for without language there is nothing, neither action nor meaningful existence.
It starts out as another cynical diatribe against humanity and its many shortcomings of sense and sensitivity, the breakdown of which unleashes brutality in the first place, and, by natural extension, war. Brooding string orchestras firmly set the elegiac tone.
The allegory is developed by a highly stylised, bleached-out and barren couple - he, brutish, she, sensitive - walking around their home in stylised nudity like Adam and Eve, shamed by their inability to attain the simple happiness of simple communication.
Colour-saturated images of nature adorn the film: nature as the only simple optimism left. Godard's dog gradually steals the show, presented as a creature that has overtaken man in the ability to live a guiltless life.
I have seen no interpretations of what the metaphor is that the captions imply. But here is one: the medium itself is the metaphor. While often picturesque, the 3D effect is more often just odd. In no way does it add to the meaning of what we are seeing, but rather imposes a false theatricality upon things. Moreover, much of the 3D doesn't work, and, with the camera giving completely different perspectives on the nearest objects, surely cannot have been intended to work. It often ceased to be 3D and became two badly superimposed brain-jarring images. Some of these are so unworkable, so physically painful to look at that one must suppose either that Godard is taking a sadistic pleasure in stabbing us in the eyes, or that these images are meant to represent the actual dysfunctionality of the medium - overbearing technology that detracts more than it contributes to the meaning of things.
If that's one of the ideas at play, the film has wrong-footed everybody. If not, it has just wrong-footed me, but the idea is there for the taking and is worth thinking about, for that is entirely what the film is: something to think about, sadly.
44 of 61 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this