Man: Our thoughts regain their place in poop.
In a career that has spanned over fifty years, Jean-Luc Godard has made many groundbreaking films. His 1960 debut, BREATHLESS, revolutionized the medium, showing filmmakers an entirely different way to construct a film. Though all of his films are arguably groundbreaking, none have had as much impact as BREATHLESS until now, with the release of his latest film GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D.
As far as the plot goes, it’s pretty simple; a man and a woman (Héloïse Godet and Kamel Abdelli) meet; they fall in love; they fight. A dog (Godard’s Roxy) walks around, urinates, rolls in feces. And while the plot is easy, the film itself is not.
Accompanying these images is dialogue of an often philosophical nature, as onehas come to expect from a Godard film. But unlike earlier Godard films though, the philosophy discussed is rarely expanded upon. In one sequence, a character even says, “Philosophy is…” only to be cut off as a new scene begins. Could this be Godard turning his back on the philosophy present throughout almost his entire filmography? That’s for the viewer to decide.
What makes Godard’s latest stand out from his previous work is his innovative use of 3D. Godard uses the 3D camera in ways that no previous filmmaker has before. Sometimes the result is beautiful, other times it is migraine inducing, but it is always revolutionary. Starting with the positive, there are two sequences in the film where Godard uses overlapping images. While the man and the woman are having a fight, she stays put and he walks away. Godard has one camera stationary with the woman, and one following the man. This leaves an effect where the viewer sees the two coinciding images on top of one another. The viewer also has the option to shut their left eye and see only the man, or their right and see only the woman. On the other hand, some sequences – particularly those shot outside – feature oversaturated images with insanely loud audio overtop. These scenes will surely give some viewers a headache, but we are certain that many cineastes will claim them as beautiful.
Godard’s disturbing use of 3D, while previously unheard of, cannot truly be surprising. Always a counterculturist, Godard knows that 3D is more popular now than it has ever been, and obviously could not resist the opportunity to flip it on its ass. While seventy minutes may sound extremely short, GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D is no easy feat to get through. In that total seventy, there is not one minute where the viewer will not be required to think. It’s a daunting and often frustrating journey, but one that any true cinephile must take. Just make sure to bring some aspirin with you.
GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D opens exclusively at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto this Friday, November 14, as part of their ongoing series, Godard Forever Part Two. For more information and for tickets, please visit tiff.net.