DCP, rewatched. It was in the second half of the 1970s, exactly with this film, that Godard began his third, shorter, phase, of exerting essay films that intersected the languages of film and video, autonomous but deeply intertwined, creating an unique body of socio-artistic observation of/on/in a society, being also an act of inhabiting art and politics, inseparable in its formulation. An irrefutable conscience
One of the more playful and accessible experiments in Godard's middle period. It's unfortunate that this kind of filmmaking will always seem too far afield to be really seen and understood, but what Godard is thinking about here concerns all forms of filmmaking and is worth considering for even the most commercial representations.
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.
"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.