In the decade that would end with "Histoire (s) du Cinéma", this film is its clear preparation-announcing, still a possible fictional desire in which the images of cinema run through the stories of the world, in parallel iconic pathos, being also a tireless remanence essay of the ability of the great German literature in transcribing the signs of the world. The film is a materialization of that previous thought.
A featurette only in length—this is one of Godard's richest, most lucid works, a shrewd dissection of the end of the 20th century, equally intellectual and emotional, part Godardian drama but also pointing the way to the montage video essays he was cooking up. The sensory experience can carry you away.
an old man goes for a walk and the past starts to collapse around him; godard, from his swiss hermitage, continues to fold his work into the fabric of 20th century art, history, and narrative. when lemmy caution's words return to haunt godard by the lakeside in 'jlg/jlg' three years later it might become clear that these two old men (like the german speaking dime store quixote) are walking the same solitary path...
Godard reflects on the history of German art and history while also musing on its future, now that the Cold War is over. Simultaneously this becomes a reflection for him looking back on his career and where it would go from there. The result is yet another master work from Godard that holds up almost 30 years later!
By now, I have come to the conclusion that I don't need to understand Godard, at least not on the whole, for his films work on a parallel emotional, impressionistic plane. And I'm totally fine with being engrossed in it.