Acclaimed French director Jean-Luc Godard continues to develop his strikingly original cinematic language with For Ever Mozart. The film is more an abstract collection of scenes that merge on an extremely loose level than it is a typical narrative (for followers of Godard, this should come as no surprise). The story concerns an aging movie director who attempts to film a new production of a Musset play in besieged Sarajevo. Along the way, various strange things happen to him and his stars, including landing in an apocalyptic rural landscape (ala the director’s 1967 masterwork Weekend). As usual, Godard peppers his film with cultural references – literate and historical – including nods to William Shakespeare, Albert Camus, and John Ford. Adding even more spark to the proceedings is Godard’s now-trademark use of fractured editing, as well as his blunt musical transitions (featuring the works of David Darling, Ketil Bjornstad, Jon Christensen, Ben Harper, and Gyorgi Kurtag). Proving that his distinct vision only continues to grow as he edges toward his fortieth year as a film director, Godard’s For Ever Mozart is another challenging, intellectual cinematic discourse from one of the French New Wave’s most notable luminaries. —Rotten Tomatoes
The lynchpin of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was arguably the most influential filmmaker of the postwar era. Beginning with his groundbreaking 1959 feature debut A Bout de Souffle, Godard revolutionized the motion picture form, freeing the medium from the shackles of its long-accepted cinematic language by rewriting the rules of narrative, continuity, sound, and camera work. Later in his career, he also challenged the common means of feature production, distribution, and exhibition, all in an effort to subvert the conventions of the Hollywood formula to create a new kind of film.
Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children. After receiving his primary education in Nyon, Switzerland – during World War II, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen – he studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, but spent the vast majority of his days at the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where he first met fellow film fanatics Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. In May… read more
Extraordinarily intelligent, possibly. As one of the characters in the film said about the work of an obscure philosophy writer whom mostly only well-educated and cultured people are likely to recognize, "It was saying nothing. Or something I do not understand. Somewhere between the two." At least the quote was something like that. It's hard to tell with the shitty New Yorker Video DVD subtitles.
There's so much cultural hierarchy in here, muddled together with a bleak and unimpassioned story, along with his usually challenging aesthetic, storyline, and analytic incomprehensibility, it makes it hard to ever want to return to the movie again. Which one would surely need to do in order to find a full interpretation. However, the experience is rewarding as per usual, as some of the most striking images and rule-breakery ever caught on camera are bound to be found in any given Godard film. It's just that his later career feels so emotionless in comparison to his earlier films...