Jean-Luc Godard: still brooding on the end of cinema

Hoberman_brotheranotherplanet_ba_imgJ. Hoberman at The Nation:

What to make of the Godardian mind? You might say that, as prolific as he is, Godard suffers from the attention-deficit disorder of genius, a condition Bob Dylan evoked repeatedly in his mid-’60s work, as when he wailed, “I need a dump truck, baby, to unload my head.” There are more ideas about more things in any five minutes of Godard’s latest opus, Goodbye to Language, than in the year’s five next most intelligent movies combined.

Largely devoted to startling stereoscopic effects, alternating sections labeled “Nature” and “Metaphor,” ultimately devolving to the quandary of a youngish couple, apparently played by two sets of actors, about whether to have a baby or get a dog, Goodbye to Language is neither a narrative film, nor a film essay, nor even a documentary, but an almost indescribable mélange of gorgeous images, slapstick interactions, unanswerable questions and strident assertions, including the playful observation, opening the movie, that “Those lacking imagination take refuge in reality.” Godard is surely referring to himself. No filmmaker has ever been more interested in the fiction of the real—or crankier.

Peppered with questions during his Concordia talks, Godard routinely shoots from the hip. The most opinionated of cinephiles, as well as a former critic, he has no difficulty articulating his preferences.

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