A film in three parts:
Hell. Images of war. Aeroplanes, tanks, battleships, explosions, gunfire, executions, populations in flight, devastated countryside, destroyed villages. All in black and white and in colour. Silent images, four sentences, four pieces of music.
Purgatory: Contemporary Sarajevo, martyred like many others. Real and imaginary characters. A visit to Mostar Bridge as it is being reconstructed symbolizes the passage from guilt to forgiveness.
Paradise: a young woman – whom we saw in Purgatory – self-sacrificed, finds peace by the water, on a small beach guarded by US marines. —Cannes Film Festival
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
I'm quite disappointed about this one, despite awarding it four stars. The opening ten minutes of Godard's film essay contained some of the most harrowing yet beautiful marriages of image and music that I have witnessed in cinema. I was looking forward to adding this film as one of my favourites, but sadly, after these ten minutes were over, it devolved into a stagnancy that never matched the earlier resonance.