In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father’s petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel Gabriel must school Joseph to accept Mary’s pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God’s plan through meditations that are sometimes angry and usually punctuated by elemental images of the sun, moon, clouds, flowers, and water. Godard intercuts a brief parallel story of Eva and her nameless lover; their adulterous affair, rife with philosophical discussions, leads nowhere. —IMDb
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
Surely one of Godard's most visually sumptuous offerings. The images of the sun, the moon, the plants blowing in strong winds, treated with languor, reminded me (if only slightly) of Sharunas Bartas. One of my favourites of his.
One of my favourites, too. "Godard's charming identification here of his work with [Charles] Gounod's asks us to think of the exploitation of Bach but also of the insight in Gounod's seeing that that piece of Bach's is interpretable as an accompaniment (an accompaniment to that, to hailing Mary, which Godard accepts as imperishable, but contests)."
Lays bare the virgin birth narrative in literal and figurative terms. The disconnect between divinity and naked desire illustrated in a stunning counter-cinematic collage of sound and image. Firmann and Menoud's rich, painterly compositions perfectly complimented with a cacophonous, multilayered soundtrack that erupts in staccato bursts.
One of Godard's most beautiful films as well as one of his best of the 80s. His eye for composition here is as on par as it usually is w/ his editing choices & camera angles. JLG is an idea man & focusing the story on one central idea w/other ones around it really gives it focus.