Jean-Luc Godard’s film is partially about finding the definition (and specimen) of being an adult. He says that it is easy to define a child and an old person, but that adults are inscrutable.The first part of the film is witnessing the preparations and beginnings of that project. It’s the present, and the film is shot in black-and-white. The second part of the film is a flashback, in saturated color, filmed on the incapable convention of video. The bigger purpose of this segment seems to be a heated argument about an American/Hollywood representative who has come to complete legal matters towards optioning an aging French couple’s tale from during the Resistance, and how America has no history, no meaning, “no name,” and therefore must resort to buying off the stories of others. There is also a heavy bashing of Spielberg and Schindler’s List, clearly a mouthpiece of Godard to flippantly sound-off on a filmmaker he has been known to publicly ostracize and censure. (Name-calling is something children do, and here Godard was supposed to be investigating adults.) Godard’s narrative feels arrantly thin and wobbly; for all the concinnity that he has invested into giving his film such a noble and pretentious birthright, there is a gaping privation in what he is trying to prove and examine. The fragmented narrative along with card-marked scenes (de quelque chose/de l’amour, etc.) and the experimentation with sounds and words vs. images are messy and kitschy. It’s hard to tell where and to what Godard wants you to pay attention to when he constantly has images moving autonomously against the multiplicity of sounds and voices. His application of digital video is like a calculated act of desperation to trailblaze with the newest filmic function in the style he did during the New Wave. However, it’s a big step backwards; the video footage is too saturated, too gritty and greasy and it is but another argument for the opposition to the wannabe revolution of digital video. It’s also an argument for someone’s retirement.
With Bruno Putzulu, Cécile Camp, Jean Davy, Françoise Verny, Audrey Klebaner and Mark Hunter.[Not to be bothered with.]