Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Adieu au langage / Goodbye to Language (3D)

adieu au langage. FR 2014. Année de production: 2012.
Un film de Jean-Luc Godard

Production et distribution
Production déléguée : Wild Bunch
Exportation/Ventes internationales : Wild Bunch
Distribution France : Wild Bunch Distribution

Générique détaillée
Scénariste : Jean-Luc Godard
Directeur de la photo : Fabrice Aragno
Attachée de presse (film) : Matilde Incerti
Monteur : Jean-Luc Godard

Héloïse Godet
Kamel Abdelli
Richard Chevallier
Zoé Bruneau

Mentions techniques
Genre(s) : Fiction
Sous-genres : Drame
Langue de tournage : Français
EOF : Oui
Nationalité : 100% français (France)
Année de production : 2012
Sortie en France : 21/05/2014
Durée : 1 h 10 min
Numéro de visa : 133.501
Agrément : Oui
Formats de production : HD
Type de couleur(s) : Couleur
    2K DCP in 3D viewed at Panthéon (Quartier Latin, Paris) with English subtitles, 16 July 2014

The trailer and the pressbook by Godard:


le propos est simple
une femme mariée et un homme libre se rencontrent
ils s'aiment, se disputent, les coups pleuvent
un chien erre entre ville et campagne
les saisons passent
l'homme et la femme se retrouvent
le chien se trouve entre eux
l'autre est dans l'un
l'un est dans l'autre
et ce sont les trois personnes
l'ancien mari fait tout exploser
un deuxième film commence
le même que le premier
et pourtant pas
de l'espèce humaine on passe à la métaphore
ça finira par des aboiements
et des cris de bébé
- Jean-Luc Godard


renoncer à la liberté
et tout vous sera rendu

que se passe-t'il, fin de
ce monde, avènement d'un


évite, et vite, les souvenirs brisés

le philosophe, est celui qui

la tribu des Chikawahs,
ils appellent le monde la forêt

c'est une guerre, de
la société contre l'État


la mariée mise à nu par
ses célibataires, même
- Marcel Duchamp

ne pas peindre ce qu'on voit,
puisqu'on ne voit rien, mais
peindre qu'on ne voit pas
- Claude Monet

personne ne pourrait penser
librement si ses yeux ne

le seul livre
à raconter
du cinéma
(Text written upon a collage image of extracts taken from Passage du cinéma, 4992, by Annick Bouleau)*
[* Passage du cinéma, 4992. Composition, choix des fragments et montage d'Annick Bouleau | Ed. Ansedonia, 2013 | 992 p.]

- Jean-Luc Godard (Adieu au langage pressbook)

AA: A 3D digital film which is also a work of modern poetry and belongs to the context of contemporary gallery art.

Jean-Luc Godard has been making films for 60 years, and if he had done nothing since his first stormy nouvelle vague period, he would still belong to a handful of the greatest artists of last century.

But he still keeps reinventing the cinema in our current century. Adieu au langage is a crazy explosion of poetry. The rhythm of the montage is exhilarating. The collage of quotes and associations is breathtaking. The commentary and the dialogue is based on quotes to such an extent that I don't know which parts are original.

Wordplay has been a constant feature in Godard's films. Puns, bons mots, aphorisms, mottoes, paradoxa abound. But there is more than that. The wordplay is the surface. Evoked are books that have changed the world or interpreted historical violence decisively: The Gulag Archipelago (Solzhenitsyn), The Possessed (Dostoevsky), Frankenstein (Mary Shelley). Auschwitz is never far from Godard's thoughts ("hier ist kein Warum"). Tiananmen is evoked, as well as the 200th anniversary of the French revolution celebration during that same year ("it is too soon to know" was Zhou Enlai's comment about the significance of the French revolution, and the same remark now reverberates about Tiananmen). There are references to philosophy (Plato), sociology (Ellul), and mathematics (Riemann).

Adieu au langage belongs to the Walter-Benjaminian Passagenwerk tradition like Godard's magnum opus Histoire(s) du cinéma. I'm intrigued by Godard's highlighting in his pressbook Annick Bouleau's Passage du cinéma, 4992 (2013), which seems to be another work of the Passagenwerk inspiration.

3D adds a new layer of density to the art of the collage, but essentially 3D is but another surface phenomenon of playfulness. "3D malheur historique" states the pressbook. The 3D palimpsest is a new device in the Godardian syntax. Dissolves and superimpositions are disorienting in 3D.

Beyond all those references there is authentic Godardian imagery of: - Washing bloody hands. - The four seasons. - Autumn leaves. - Reflections in the water on the asphalt. - The freeway at night. - Views through the rainswept windshield. - The forest and the lake. - The dog. - The wintry shore.
    3D adds new occasions to visual poetry in images of multi-layered reflections.

This work has been reportedly shot on HD (high definition), but in the cinema it looks like it has been shot knowingly in low definition, turning the limitations and restrictions of the format to means of expression of colours - electric - and psychedelic - with overexposures - and high contrast - denatured colours - exaggerated oranges and blues - and yellows and reds - playing with television static - as well as sound disturbances.

The focus turns into writing itself (with the fountain pen, with the quill), as well as to the act of painting (with watercolour).

Increasingly, the focus shifts to a dog. We may think that there might be a pre-lingual dimension in a philosophical evocation of the nature of perception as we eye a dog with its superior senses. In the conclusion we hear the sounds of a baby (sounds before the emergence of the symbol function = the insight that a word can represent a phenomenon). Goodbye to language? Or welcome to the birth of language?


Those lacking in imagination take refuge in reality [If this sentence is not from Oscar Wilde, it is at least profoundly Wildean.] - F: Jean Arthur in Only Angels Have Wings - low definition 3D - highly stylized - broken - a few outdoor tables for second hand books - L'Archipel du Goulag - Solzhenitsyn - An Experiment in Literary Investigation - mobile phones used for fact checking - ♪ P. I. Tchaikovsky: Marche slave / Slavonic March / Славянский марш (1876), a full orchestra arrangement, the alarming, massive, deep first bars are heard repeatedly during the film [also the theme tune of Josef von Sternberg's The Last Command] - F. M. Dostoevsky: Les Possédés - in 1933, television was introduced in Russia, in the same year as Hitler rose to power - what Hitler said he realized - mobilization totale - Jacques Ellul: what he prophesized, came true - there is a lot of black in this movie - Machiavelli-Richelieu-Bismarck - the nazi bunch, the book yard - the society vs. the state - the armed black-clad security policemen or gangster henchmen speaking in German - the sound of a gun shot - bloody hands are washed in a pool with autumn leaves - 2 LA METAPHORE - a swim - a firestorm - F: Nicole Stéphane in Les Enfants terribles -a dog swims - leaving for America - tell me what philosophy is [Kant, Benjamin] - the black-clad assassins - the reflections on the water of the asphalt * - interiority forbidden - murder as a solution - the present is a strange beast - [superimpositions in 3D are tricky] - Plato on truth and beauty - children throwing dice - 1 NATURE - through a snowy windshield * - man and woman naked at home - the camera tilts 90 grades sideways - the big flat screen monitor - F: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Mamoulian) - the Chikawah tribe calls the world a forest - slow motion footage of a black-and-white insert with a man chasing a woman towards us - sitting on the toilet the man utters philosophical thoughts - there is blood under the shower - there is a dog in the forest - there is a ship that is receding - thoughts about the hero, like in Joseph Campbell - bloody hands - AH DIEUX - the sky - ♪ Ludwig van Beethoven - the dog playing in the snow - autumn leaves - F: The Barefoot Contessa - the slight scar above the woman's lip - in the gas chamber: "hier gibt es kein Warum" - a catalogue of opposites: - infini et zéro - sex et mort - only the free ones can be strangers - electric colour - "I will barely say a word. I am looking for poverty in language" - at night on the freeway, the rainswept windshield* - the helicopter, the devastation of war - high contrast, overexposure - 2 LA METAPHORE - sporting black wide-brimmed hats - hands on the grille - Mao Zedong - 1789 and 1989 - how would you comment the demonstration - "it is too soon to know" - in Russian: Kamera = Prison - Russia will never be a part of Europe, or they will never be Russians again - soon everyone will need an interpreter - F: [a clip I cannot identify, a man at a stormy seashore, Grémillon?] - psychedelic colour - extremely low angle shot from amongst the foliage - a landscape seen from the window - denatured colour - a woman by the lakeside - blood - black and white to abstraction - a forest extremely denatured in autumn colours - exaggerated colour - plus de forêt - fin de guerre - the violent rush of the water in the shower - a man and a woman in the shower - OH LANGAGE - AH DIEUX - a gun shot - blood in the fountain - les mots - a dog in the water - there is no nudity in nature - a snowy shore - the surge of the flood - the balance point of the dog - ♪ a mass - autumn colour - reflections in the water - Claude Monet: "ne pas peindre ce qu'on voit, puisqu'on ne voit rien, mais peindre qu'on ne voit pas" - F: Metropolis (Rotwang chasing Maria) - via reflections: playing the piano eight-handedly - mirrors - the boy and the girl - ♪ Jean Sibelius: Valse triste (1903) [a few bars have been heard before, but now it is getting more recognizable and becomes, besides Tchaikovsky's Marche slave a main theme of the film] - the mathematician Bernhard Riemann and the music of the primes - the orange and the blue - the firestorm: the yellow and the red - a fictional costume episode: Lord Byron and Mary Shelley - creating Frankenstein at Lake Geneva - Godard himself reciting - épouvante - writing on a quill, its sound effect exaggerated - Q (Mary Shelley: Frankenstein): "Your threats cannot move me to do an act of wickedness; but they confirm me in a determination of not creating you a companion in vice. Shall I, in cool blood, set loose upon the earth a daemon whose delight is in death and wretchedness?" - a discourse on revolution, and historical memory - 3D palimpsest - fountain pen, quill, watercolour - 3D: flatness into depth - l'autre monde - watercolours - the fuzzy sound distortion of the wind as a means of expression - television static as a means of expression - baby sounds.

In the end credits sources - of writers, film-makers, composers, etc. - are listed swiftly by surname only.

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