Monday, October 27, 2014

The latest in a series: Jean-Luc Godard's spastic but fun-to-watch-in-3D GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE

Well, he likes dogs, at least (see poster, right). Which is better than he's done with women over the years. Yes, Jean-Luc Godard is back, this time in 3D. And if 3D seems the least expected format for a filmmaker such as this, that is probably the entire point. Ever the provocateur, M. Godard intends to show us what we don't understand. And if this leads to the pitter-patter of pretension, all the better. That just adds to the fun of yet another increa-singly spastic movie from the "master."

As much as I consider Godard ( in chair at left) to be the epitome of The Emperor's New Clothes -- come on now: he was only half-dressed back in the days of Breathless, which gave us something new, yes, but beyond that, simply attitude over content -- I must admit that I had no trouble watching most of GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE, silly as some of it is. This was due mostly to the quite ravishing 3D cinematography (by Fabrice Aragno, who also worked on the director's also pretty Film Socialism). Watching this movie is often pure dimensional pleasure.

Not that Godard and Aragno give us stuff jumping out of the screen. Please. There does seems to be one segment in which there is a kind 3D within the 3D ("6D?" as a friend of mine questioned). But mostly, this is just nice cinematography with the extra addition of "space"

You can see, nearly feel, the planes here. Branches of trees against the river bank, nature in its glory, even a pair of very attractive breasts protruding toward you and a cock bouncing its way along (yes, there's some full-frontal nudity, too).

A story? Not really. There's a man and a woman present, so you can maybe find one if you look hard. But it doesn't count for, or come to, much. There is that lovely dog who appears almost throughout. And the usual late-Godardisms: dialog that sometime goes untranslated, or even unheard (Goodbye to Language, indeed!), as the director seems to be tweaking us but good.

I took a few notes at the screening I attended, but they appear now to have disappeared, but I am recalling my viewing experience as not at all a bad one. Still, I am either too dumb to get on this guy's wave-length, or maybe, as I suggest, it is one that offers neither much intellectual nor emotional reward.

Goodbye to Language 3D -- from Kino Lorber and running just 70 minutes -- opens this coming Wednesday, October 29, in New York at the IFC Center and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Elsewhere? Actually, yes: In another eight cities across the country. (But not, I notice, anywhere in the Los Angeles area. Those cretins! Or maybe they're just too smart for this con job.) You can view all currently scheduled playdates by clicking here and scrolling down.

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