Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
Goodbye to Language
About a man who’s angry at his wife because she’s met another man on a park bench and they no longer even speak the same language.
I hate characters.
There have been quite a few times in my film watching history when after seeing a fantastic shot of a landscape or something similar I've gasped in sheer delight. But never has a single shot (or two) made my jaw drop and eyes grow wide until now. The cinema screen splits in two, but only, it's still one. When I realised that if I looked through one eye I could see a completely different shot than if I looked through the other one - I simply could not believe it. This is an experience, primarily and wholly. Our perspective is the way we see the world and we're being shown here how easily it can be affected…
A total cinema
By the extremity of reality
Seen through a dog's gaze.
The new Frankenstein
Breaks free from kamera.
Preliminary scattered thoughts at The Film Stage. Theoretically, this is the miracle that answers the dilemma of Historie(s) Du Cinema: Cinema as document vs. Cinema as art. Arnheim's Total Cinema and Bazin's Total Realism have long stood opposite for each other. Through the use of 3D flip cams, Godard proposes that a Total Cinema is simply a Total Realism. In essence, this is a film that introduces us to the image without language or metaphor. It is instead the image of pure reality, and thus pure freedom.
“soon, people will need interpreters to understand the words coming out of their own mouths.”
you can say that again.
if ever stars were meaningless... easily the most fascinating and hostile use of 3D i've ever seen in a feature, puts image in direct conflict with meaning, encouraging viewers to see what we don't see. that often translates into watching a man fondling a naked woman's ass as he takes a massive liquid shit. in 3D.
the split-image stuff makes for some of the most sublime moments i've had at the movies this year – as your eyes cross and then individually close, you can practically feel the synapses latching onto each other in your brain.
can't claim to have…
"This morning is a dream. Each person must think that the other is a dreamer."
I listed this film as an essential film to watch not because I love it, but because it's an experience every cinephile needs to sit through, whether it's a good one or a bad one. All things aside, it can be agreed among everyone that Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language is a one-of-a-kind film. I think for the first time, I'm at a loss for words while reviewing for a film. And surely for the first time, I've found that the star system isn't appropriate for this film. I think I was in…
Goodbye to Language is not a film; it is an experience. It is what I imagine the last few seconds of life are like.
Godard has given us a 3D film about 2D film being superior. It is seriously GENIUS. It is a slap in the face. Innovative, perplexing, funny--the film is completely bonkers but at the same time supremely human.
Goodbye to Language must be experienced in a theater. You cannot watch it any other way.
Full review later if I can muster up the energy.
Reviewed for Cinema Scope here.
That's ~7% of what I currently have to say about this film. I'm by no means "a Godard," (of the 19 other features of his I've seen to date, my current second favourite is Alphaville, which scores a stingy 6.7 on the Richter scale) but for my money this is, in 2014 and ~3250 films into my cinephilia, the greatest cinematic achievement I have seen. That it made me burst into tears, for reasons still mostly unknown to me, a full three minutes after the lights came up is more a product of, rather than a reason for, that estimation. But I've only seen two films each by John Ford and Howard Hawks, so take…
At the Lightbox in 3D. Lots of poop jokes.
Structure of doubling starting to emerge, which applies not just to to "Nature" and "Metaphor" but also the use of the 3D itself. Thinking that the philosophical quotations don't mean much more than the fact that characters are applying such abstract notions to concrete situations. Lots more to unpack, obviously.
Milk chocolate, Wednesday night, 3D glasses, headache, Godard, Hitler, playing tricks.
I was annoyed, more than anything, as I left the theater, but right after I saw National Gallery and I'm coming around to this in a big way. This is my first late-Godard, so I made the mistake of thinking this was a narrative, with avant-grade inflections, and not the other way around. Wiseman's doc preaches the wonders of artistic form as a means of mutable meaning, and I'll admit I have little meaning to offer re: this Godard. But it's a daring, maddening interrogation and innovation of cinematic form: there are a couple sequences where the 3D splits into different planes, one right, one left, and the possibilities of such a split complicate issues of gaze, authorial intent and spectatorial identification that theorists have been arguing about for a century now. I don't know what comes after this, but it's a undebatable achievement. When I watch it again, maybe I'll enjoy it.
How do you solve a problem like Godaaaaaaaard? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Godaaaaaard? A pretentious shit-head? a master of video art? Nah, just a dude who does cool things with 3D.
A migraine-inducing journey into the depths of Godard's pessimistic mind to a place where people can no longer speak to each other and we should all consider being dogs. Also a passionate (at times very funny) attack on modern cinema which treats it's audience like children and pathetically falls back on the use of unnecessary 3D effects. Some of it is magnificent but when Godard switches his attention to Hitler and the art of discussing philosophy whilst on the toilet, you have to wonder what he was really thinking other than going through with every thought that popped into his head.
If you only ever see one 3D film in the cinema, make sure its this.
Actually, if you only get to see one film in the cinema in 2015 (which is when I assume this will actually show up in more screens), make sure its this. Because it's a film based around the assumption you are watching in a theatre, and it therefore wants to fuck with you.
So: Jean Luc Godard, well into his 80s, continue to experiment and innovate to a degree that shames even the best up-and-comers.
Goodbye to Language is baffling, brilliant, radical and infuriating, almost always at the same time. This is the 3D film, one that shatters every established rule of three-dimensional cinematography with…
The decentering moment in cinema. Of course, that makes it completely maddening at times but it all weirdly comes together at the end. I'll agree with the detractors, it *does* seem way longer than 70 minutes, but I've never seen a film in which every single moment matters so much. This is the closest anyone has come to translating Derrida to film since Godard's own Comment ca va? That's a film about words, this is about their limit.
- Under the Skin
- Tropical Malady
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
- Inland Empire
- The Captive
- Clouds of Sils Maria
- Goodbye to Language
- The Homesman
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014.
This is every Palme d'Or nominee since the festival began in 1946.…
- The Tree of Life
- Under the Skin
- It's Such a Beautiful Day
- Blue Is the Warmest Color
In my opinion, of course!
And only including films that I've seen.
Hardly in order after the top five.