Film Review: GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D by Jean Luc Godard

Film Review: GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D by Jean Luc Godard

I’ll cut right to the chase. Aside from his newest 3D forray, “Adieu Au Language 3D,” or “Goodbye To Language 3D,” I have never seen a single Jean Luc Godard film, or any French new wave cinema, aside from Portlandia’s exploration of two friends simultaneously dating Chloe Sevigny. I enjoyed it like a die hard baseball fan might enjoy their first viewing of a championship cricket match. Despite the inherent confusion, I greatly enjoyed seeing the only film I feel accurate in describing as a prolonged philosophy music video, accompanied by some of the most beautiful, innovative, and occasionally aggravating uses of 3D.

Adieu Au Langage 3D

Aside from the depth manipulation, the format of “Adieu” might be the norm for Godard’s films. Although I lack any point of reference, I have the luxury of childlike freshness regarding his approach. My mind feels like it has been stripped of its clothing and thrown into the wilderness to run with a benevolent pack of centaurs, and before I’m reunited with the world I left behind, I want to point out all of the things I have learned from viewing “Adieux Au Langage 3D,” in no particular order.

  • Dogs are the only creature that can truly love another more than themselves. Most of the film follows a stray dog (played by Godard’s real life companion, Roxy)’s journey as she goes from the rural countryside to the living rooms of two different French couples (or possibly alternate versions of the same couple), who spend a good deal of their time lounging about the villa naked while discussing philosophy.

  • The easiest way to absorb broad philosophical principles is while watching attractive naked French couples discuss them. Their discussions can occasionally give way to silent and unprovoked wrestling matches in the shower, but no real harm seems to be intended by either. Instead, the practice serves as a good release of frustration, and possibly a physical metaphor for one of the most recurring phrases of the film….

  • Women can never hurt men. They can only annoy or kill them.

  • Poop is the great equalizer. It takes the course of half the film to illustrate this, as we first see and hear a naked man pooping in front of a beautiful naked woman. He seems vulnerable, his words simple, terse and truthful. Repeat this process at 3 equally spaced intervals, the man takes on more of a cruel quality, all the while proving his theory of poop=the great equalizer. If we were to graph this on a chart, the man’s cleverness and honesty decrease toward annoyingness and perverted manipulation over the course of time between defecation, while the naked woman’s chart stays linear at a point of sexual appeal. Their trajectories meet at the middle point, equalized by poop. I feel strangely compelled to investigate if poop is a recurring theme in Godard’s films.

  • The opposite of sexy, wistful, poetic French lovers is stark angry Germans. Especially when they show up in black sedans wearing dark tailored suits, only to accost nice elderly scholars sitting in a park. When their angry words go untranslated, I am left to assume they traveled directly and hastily, allowing no stops for coffee or strudel. They might make time later in the day for such indulgences, once their business with the Frenchman has concluded.

  • Russians will never be European. It would negate their inherent Russian-ness.

  • It would have been extremely challenging for me to pursue a literary career in the early 20th century or prior. The inked quills produced such a sound when stroked on paper that rivals all modern dental tools and clerical working women with an affinity for all-day nail filing. God bless Mary Shelley for her diligence in the face of adversity. God bless the ball point pen.

  • Writing about film feels akin to eating during a funeral. It diminishes the impact of the ritual, but the mustard stains serve as a physical keyhole to the time and place of that emotional state. Nothing in the film illustrated this specifically.

  • 3D can be used as a tool to capture the profoundness of the ordinary world. There is a voyeuristic innocence to viewing the passengers of a slow moving tour boat that makes them as fascinating as the stars of a Microcosmos documentary.

  • 3D can be used as a tool to assault, disorient and nauseate an audience, especially when paired with jarring high pitched violin noises. It is occasionally worth the pain, like when you close one eye and see a naked woman from the torso down, then open it and close the other to see a naked man from the same angle in a different area of the room while they discuss various pains of the human existence. Splitting images into separate eyes is a new experience for me, and became a strange exercise in restraint, as I found myself fighting the temptation to turn to fellow audience members to see which eye they were covering.

  • I can’t say whether any of Godard’s other films delve as deep in character development as to give a name to each, but I enjoyed the redaction of such a practice. I kept wondering if I had missed a moment when names were assigned, until a scene where the naked woman of one of the couples explains her dissatisfaction with the concept of “characters” while a silent horror film plays in the background. She sees characterization as a veil in the face of truth, and provides a beautifully concise and illuminating counterpoint; it is more affecting to live than to tell.

Despite all the gloom and ennui of the film’s tactile presentation, the lingering feeling it generates is that true freedom is only attainable when the past, future, and present concepts of self and ideology fade into the metaphysical background. The purest transcendence is only available when gazing into another’s eyes. If you agree with this, I highly recommend you see “Adieu Au Langage 3D.”

Adieu Au Langage 3D movie

 

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LA Showtimes:  http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/goodbye-to-language-3d-exclusive-engagement

[youtube link=”http://youtu.be/7mB5Grs_neA”]

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