45 seconds in, lady behind me practically yells at her friend, "oh, this is gonna be weird." You'll be familiar with the editing rhythms this collaboration has wrought, but they are something so divergent from any essay films I've seen (I'll take recommendations!) it's imprecise to accuse this guy of redundancy. Some foggy politics about post-colonial images that confused me. And he still loves his Johnny Guitar.
When Godard, his rasping voice speaking for the exhaustion of each of us, says, not hopefully, that of course anything can happen nowadays: I feel that. But. But hope. Hope: despite all. Hope: not because we have cause for optimism, but because it is an immutable precondition. What else? Masterpiece of montage, of digitality, implicitly about the besieged individual in relation to the machinations of political power.
Jihlava '18 with Jiri, hence 4. Otherwise forgot our conversation after. In hindsight, you can't gainsay M. Heiferman that albeit taking and sharing images has become second nature to many, this unprecedented visual suffusion does not necessarily entail more image literacy. Goes for photo & cinema alike. I remember Godard's imagery as a blissed out interchangeable plethora consciously verging on inalienable red tape.
The familiar Godardian themes: the moving image as a reflection of reality, as a distraction from it, and as a necessary vehicle for capturing it. And, as Godard makes clear, this image is highly mutable. No new ground is broken in this essay on how political violence continues when you'd think we have enough footage to learn our lesson. But moments abound where editing wizardry and epigrammatic provocation collide.
The presentation of this film regarding the subtitles is so fucking weird, but whatever man, who else is making films like this at 87 years old after 126 credits? On the weird subtitles, I'm sure the entire purpose of this film is to jar you (unless you speak French, then I guess this film is slightly different). Is there enough philosophical, existential truth in a century of images for the words to not matter?
There might have not been a film in 2018 where past and present tense happen to speak so openly and powerfully to each other - shaping, re-modelling and interrogating our most basic, yet fragile intimacy with the world. Godard's eye escavates into our collective memory as spectators while trying to make sense of today's humanity. A stream of images and thoughts that feels as hallucinatory as often so vividly lucid.
Ahhhhh, I think I finally get it. Godard has spent most of his career trolling cinephiles and this is a big middle finger to those who have been loyal enough to follow him all the way through his career. Horribly pointless, almost inept in the way the footage is put together, and just another bore from a false idol.
Even though The Image Book is about the present, it feels like a present passed. It's there in the graveyard of Godard's voice, his 87-year timbre and my bad French making it into one more instrument in his audiovisual orchestra, which looks and sounds like it's playing a requiem for all of us. "Believe me, we are never sad enough for the world to be better. Earth abandoned...and hardly any ears listening anymore".
Fantastic juxtaposition of fragments and visual data, both contemporary, archival and elements from 20th-21st century film masterpieces. Godard, the forever young forever vanguard, can still raise the same questions in a different format each time. My eyes are worn to a frazzle after this, but isn't that what the screen-mania era is doing to our eyes?
I appreciate elements of the film - the contrast between the short snippets of imagery is interesting and engaging. Almost 2018 internet-esque where it feeds to our short attention span. But after 90 minutes of constant flashing, uninventive distortion, and that purposely oversaturated hue, it all becomes quite tedious. As to the essay, in true Godard way, it feels like he's saying everything but also nothing at all.
I've watched about a dozen Godard films now and apart from Breathless, Week-end and maybe one or two others, I find his films impenetrable. I try so hard, but all I take away from films like this is that I don't understand it which makes me feel unworthy and inferior. I want to understand his work so much :(