Jean-Luc Godard returns with a bracing, beautiful and confrontational essay film. Splicing together classic film clips and newsreel footage, often stretched, saturated and distorted almost beyond recognition, The Image Book interrogates our relationship with film, culture and global politics.
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7.1 channels of sound portraying 360º of the surface of the earth in thousands of years of existence. Someone asks in off "to be inmortal has no interest for you?" and the other responds something that is not subtitled, and continues: "What will become of me if I don't die?". In the image, a scene from Vertigo where Scottie rescues Madeleine from a suicidal attempt. Then black. Silence.
Cinema should have died with the end of the 20th century, along side capitalism. Yet we still try to keep them alive, oppressing other ideas and images, remaking films and conflicts, with no other (art) movement ready to take the mantle. People often say that every story has been told, and it may seem sceptical, but it speaks to the universal legacy that has been left - and our inability to create a follow-up.
TIFF '18 Godard's latest musings on violence, history, film and meaning make for a challenging but rewarding experience that maintains a playfulness with image and its manipulation that puts his young peers to shame. Godard's use of archival footage and a wealth of film clips is extraordinary bringing to mind his 'Histoires' series.
Is it weird to say that I am moved an 87 year old is kicking out work this far beyond his peers? If I find the time would love to do a close reading on the final chapter whose politics escaped me. It's a work about the violence of the times, reflected in the medium and everything done to it. Very dense, but doing so many technical stunts that you wonder what freaky laboratory birthed it.
A call to revolution. To revolution in this society that no longer seeks to go out of war, to find peace. A desperate cry to revolution as the only hope left to save us from the eternal disgrace of our system. A call to cinematic revolution that breaks all the codes, all the rules of cinematic language, to call to a disruptive force of change. In Godard we trust!
An interventionistic act on film material, as it has always been, a cosmogony of knowledge, that in me, now, finds a resistance to some usual figurations of which i am increasingly distant: the insistence on the female nude as an act per se, his "artistic" voice and music, the revolution's epitome and, in the arab chapter, a political narrative dismembered by a fragmentation that doesn't embody the other(ness).
Whilst not quite the Infinite Monkey Theorem, you’re just as likely to produce your own Image Book from manic switching between television channels, which points to both the problem and (limited) appeal of this exercise - although an exercise in what? Permutations on marriages or disassociations of image or sound with a vaguely political narrative would appear to be the answer. Hello Godard...
Livre de imagem ou: Godard derrotista e derrotado, incapaz de se perder num país árabe (e importa lembrar que os países árabes são apenas "cenário", os nomes estão-lhes interditos). Livre de imagem ou: partir em busca do revolucionário por vir e encontrar a revolução que nunca foi. Livre de imagem ou: a impossibilidade de alguma vez sair do Ocidente. [Cont.]