MESSAGE DE SALUTATIONS: PRIX SUISSE / REMERCIEMENTS / MORT OU VIF by Jean-Luc Godard (world premiere 13.03.2015)
[MESSAGE OF GREETINGS: PRIX SUISSE / MY THANKS / DEAD OR ALIVE] by Jean-Luc Godard (world premiere March 13th, 2015)
On Friday, March 13th, 2015, in Geneva, Switzerland, Jean-Luc Godard was awarded the 2015 “Prix d’honneur du cinéma suisse” with its corresponding allotment of 30,000 Swiss francs (at present = €28189,46 EUR or $29,909.52 USD), on the basis of being a “visionary filmmaker,” “a virtuoso of film-editing,” whose “avant-garde” works have done much to inspire the young. A remarkable laurel, given that Godard is, at 84, the greatest filmmaker in the history of the cinema since Renoir, and I can’t name another Swiss director besides Anne-Marie Miéville. Of course he didn’t attend, citing, for the ump-teenth time in so-many years, health reasons; regular right-hand-man / DP / one-man technical wizard / JLG-ambassador Fabrice Aragno appeared in Godard's stead to accept the award.
Of course, the health reasons cited were only so evident as the 5-minute film* that Godard stars in, worked on, edited, crafted might in the end suggest: and this opens another debate for another time, especially given the high physical comedy exhibited by the would-be frail author of Soigne ta droite and the gorgeous thank-you note sent to the National Society of Film Critics (in the USA) for awarding Adieu au langage the greatest film of 2014.
The new film, which may or may not possess a title that starts with “MESSAGE DE SALUTATIONS” (although this exists as the embedded work’s header at the “Schweizer Filmpreis” website), and may or may not, from there, assume as its (sub)title (although if so, amply so): “PRIX SUISSE / REMERCIEMENTS / MORT OU VIF,” or: “PRIX SUISSE / MY THANKS / DEAD OR ALIVE” — is here embedded, and its sound-track, all in French, transcribed, and accompanied by an English-language translation.
One extended footnote before the French-language, and English-language-translation, transcriptions are posted: The French-language transcription was undertaken 12 hours before this writing by the great French critic (and major, as they say, “Godardian”) Arthur Mas, who at this point in time stresses to me that his hearing of “Fernandel” may or may not be precise. Aside from that, Arthur told me the following, which is very useful and interesting: In the section near the end regarding the four confédérés—and here is perhaps where Godard’s text delves most directly into Swiss (and canton-Vaudian) history—this is some small context that mightbe helpful to the non-Franco-Swiss viewer:
"Godard is doing a « jeu de mots » ['word-play'] when speaking of the 'toute jeune Eve,' which can also be heard as 'Genève' (Geneva). He is actually listing the four Swiss districts and historic personalities he feels linked to as a true 'confédéré': Jura (with Humbert-Droz), Genève ('Jeune Eve', with Michel Servet), le Pays de Vaud (with Abraham Davel), and Nidwald (with Winkelried). — But it is quite tricky to translate.”
[French-language transcription by Arthur Mas / English-language translation by Craig Keller. PDF with parallel text translation available to download here.]
*(Side-note for further pursuit from someone [but not just anyone] else: Can we be done, if not for 2015, then by 2016, with the pedantic OCD-impulse one-upmanship of dyed-in-the-wool “materialist”/“formalist" critics describing works shot digitally as “video,” when most filmmakers at this point understand the term “film” has perhaps, as happens in language, expanded?)
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