For Reel


Film socialisme (2010)
January 13, 2012, 3:16 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Scathingly reviewed by mainstream American critics (Roger Ebert, Todd McCarthy, and Christy Lemire spoke as though they had been violently assaulted by the picture), Film Socialisme is Jean-Luc Godard’s evasive new feature which, for English audiences, arrives with “Navajo” subtitles (a noun-heavy, playful vernacular resembling Twitter-speak). After one viewing, I wouldn’t dare attempt to rationalize the bulk of it (the best analysis of the film can be found here), but to be of the disposition that to be opaque is to be trash is disconcerting for the state of criticism. Not a Godard enthusiast myself, I found the film to be significantly more tolerable than a number of his pictures, if only because his penchant for preaching is minimized by the elasticity of meaning that one can mine from the subtitles. His curiosity appears to be that, as a society transitions into the digital age, what does that mean for communication and, more specifically, what is lost to history? Though for great bulks of the picture it is a challenge to decipher this root, other images, such as a woman attempting to mimic the meow of kittens on a YouTube video, carry with them a sublime poetry that couldn’t be any clearer.

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