"There was a landscape, we put a factory in it. There was a factory, we put a landscape around it." JLG returns to this quotation to examine the circumstances of the modern family. No longer human, but a commodity; their routines & relationships more an industrialised process; domesticity as final product. The disconnection between the two suggested through jarring, dissociative juxtapositions between sound & image.
Godard consolidates his past (mid-'60s essays, DVG polemics, even a brief Breathless nod) and his future (Histoire(s), France/Tour/Detour...) with this masterpiece. He's still political, but here he puts it in the frame of human emotions, even if they are abstract. The juxtaposition is clever, the thoughts probing and the tangents entertaining. It's challenging, but oh so worth it.
An absolutely essential Godard film that is sadly MIA on DVD and Blu-ray here in the States. Briefly available on VHS in the early part of the last decade, this relatively little-seen masterpiece would be a wonderful addition to The Criterion Collection.
So many of Godard's post-67 films can be absorbed passively. One can watch them whilst drifting in and out, and then be grabbed by an image, a phrase or an idea. This is different. It's uncomfortable. I came out of the cinema not wanting to see it again, yet I find myself thinking about it often.