As a possible prelude, or even a prequel, for Hail Mary, Anne-Marie Miéville offers this brief story of family decomposition from the viewpoint of a girl named Maria. Godard’s collaborator and concubine Miéville works with a logic that’s not as character-estranged as the one of his partner, and it turns less to discursive battle than to traditional storytelling, echoing a sad beauty, especially when little Maria punches and tears apart the air by the rhythm of Mahler’s music and with her childish face frowned with impotence. –BAFICI
Anne-Marie Miéville (born 11 November 1945 in Lausanne) is a Swiss filmmaker, principally known for her work in collaboration with her husband Jean-Luc Godard. —Wikipedia
I watched this on LD, with Hail Mary. Life-changing, guys, life-changing.
“The Book of Mary” by Anne-Marie Mieville is not an introduction to Godard’s “Hail Mary” (“Salute Mary”) – though the both films are combined into one presentation - one describes Mary’s childhood (Mieville’s) and another her youth (Godard’s). While both films are dedicated to the depiction of St. Virgin’s life as if she were a child of European democracy, Mieville’s short film semantically and stylistically is an independent work. The director’s task is to trace in Mary’s childhood the influences and complexes which could make it possible her unconscious belief in Immaculate Conception as an archetype which formed her soul and shaped her biology according to the archaic idea of birth as reproduction through parthenogenesis. Both, Mieville and Godard depict the social and psychological aspects of a culture that can breed belief in the reality of Immaculate Conception. Art becomes an existential experiment (cinematic lab research), a scholarly investigation into psycho-socio-cultural context of this image/idea/belief. Mieville’s film shows that even with a highly intelligent parents (whose personalities are emotionally sculpted by the exceptional actors Bruno Cremer and Aurore Clement) and a democratically refined environment, culture is not immune from stimulating in the people strong irrational beliefs which have the power to override the “fallen” rationality of the factual life. The film’s diagnosis is - the psycho-socio-cultural “pedagogy” of solipsism in the perceiving the world emotionally poisons children, hurts human mutuality and destroys/weakens human ability for intimacy. According to the implications of Mieville’s verdict on modern democracy, the solipsistic beliefs like Immaculate Conception (La Conception) will override reality again and again as soon as this reality is “fallen”: until people are not ready to participate in (until culture is not able to teach them in a non-authoritarian way) mutuality and real psychological democraticity as fundamental values. Mieville’s film elaborately describes six aspects of solipsistic pedagogy which transforms Mary-the girl into a woman who became one of the most glorified icons of Western culture. Mieville’s virtuosity as a director and thinker in visual images can make you speechless if it weren’t so challengingly stimulating and inspiring. Please, visit: www.actingoutpolitics.com to read an essay about Mieville’s film (with analysis of stills), and also articles on films by Godard, Resnais, Bergman, Kurosawa, Bunuel, Bresson, Pasolini, Antonioni, Fassbinder, Cavani, Alain Tanner, Bertolucci, Werner Herzog, Maurice Pialat, Jerzy Skolimowski, Ken Russell, Wim Wenders, Rossellini, Moshe Mizrahi and Robert Neame. Victor Enyutin