Sunday, November 29, 2009


This film was a piece of aesthetic pleasure infused with Godard's intellectual mindset. The Polish director may of represented Godard at a young age. The director had a particular problem that I am sure Godard also had-- the issue of funding. The producers did not want to fund a film with a lack of story, and the director responded that the story must be lived before it is created. This may of been Godard's way of stating that films themselves will create a story, even if they lack a structured plot. Another parallel could have been the Polish director's love affairs with the women involved in his film. This could be a representation of Godard's involvement with actresses such as; Anna Karina.

The shooting of the film within the film was particularly beautiful. The Greek setting inside the studio seemed like an extravagant painting from the time of Helen. There was never much explained action, just eye catching frames and wonderful colors. There were dozens of beautiful and eloquently positioned women. The nudity was not pornographic, but an artistic expression and celebration of the human body. It was like seeing sculpted, idealistic nude portraits in a gallery or museum.

I feel Godard went to great lakes to make the shooting of the film beautiful, to let his ideals be known: He does not make films to tell a story, he makes films for the sake of beauty, ideals and the creation of a story through a film.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

First Name: Carmen

A perverse tail of Carmen and her terrorist bank robbing team. Godard plays himself and Carmen's uncle. Carmen convinces Uncle Godard--who is living in what looks like an insane asylum--to use his apartment near the ocean to shoot a film. Although, the film is simply a cover-up for a bank robbery. This inspires Godard--who now truly believes his boom-box is a camera that plays music--to direct the "film" and begin making films again. Godard speaks of his the films he has made early in his career as if he made them in some other life--this was not only extremely eerie, but I felt like Godard was my crazy uncle telling tails of his youth.

In Carmen's initial meeting with her uncle, I feel a strong sexual tension between them. It almost seemed as the two had a strange and inappropriate sexual past. I was reminded of this tension when Carmen and Joseph arrived at the apartment by the ocean. Carmen sighs while in Godard's old room as if it brought upon strange, distorted, yet strangely satisfying memories. Did Godard and Carmen have a sexual past? Was Carmen molested by her uncle?

We do know for sure that Carmen was molested by Joseph. Joseph was what we now call "a sex addict". Carmen did initially enjoy sex with Joseph, but when she no longer wanted to be with him--he could not take no for an answer. He was constantly pulling down her panties and trying to instigate love making. He found her so desirable that when she refused him, he could not help but masturbate next to her while she was in the shower-- which Carmen responded to with the line "why do men exist?"

This strange sexuality made the film mildly entertaining, it was also pretty neat to see the man and the legend on screen. Other than that it seemed to skip around even when it was not skipping around. I kept finding myself thinking that I was watching a flashback, but in all actuality the film was linear.

Monday, November 16, 2009

All's Well

Finally--a film I enjoyed from start to finish. Although the plot was loose, the film built upon the presented information to the climax--the grocery store scene. At first I was wondering why so much time was spent on the factory strike, why Jane Fonda was in the film, and like usual what the hell was going on. Soon I realized that Jane Fonda was a struggling reporter who's editor would not publish her articles on the class struggle. The factory strike was her first article that was denied. After this realization, I was able to look at the larger picture and Godard's argument actually made sense.

The very "Week-end" like grocery store scene made the entire film worth watching. While watching that scene and listening to Jane Fonda, extremely pro-socialist thoughts came racing through my head. It suddenly seemed ridiculous that people actually make a profit off of our basic needs. Without the act of handing a robotic cashier our money we will actually die. In our society there is someone getting rich off of food. Without their success...we will die. What is wrong with this picture?

Godard makes the point, by exposing the meat factory, that these capitalistic food profiteers cannot even treat their employees right. Jane Fonda compares the factory to the way the supermarket is ran. After working in a factory...this is a spot on description.

This was an all around excellent film, it did not hit me as hard as "Week-end", but it did allow me to get on the same page as Godard. The film seemed to be organized like an avalanche--it started off as a simple protest and gained momentum to be a statement on the political ideology of France via 1972.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hail Mary

Once again Godard presents one of the two most controversial issues--religion (politics being the latter). He tells the story of Mary and Joseph in a modern setting, depicting what modern society would most likely focus on. Instead of acceptance of Mary's pregnancy, Joseph struggles with the idea that she is pregnant while he has never had sex with her. He initially concludes that she has cheated on him. He even goes as far as to breaking up with Mary and courting another woman. Eventually he accepts the idea and tells Mary he will stay and "not touch her".

There was also a great deal of focus on Mary's body. The lower half of her body was often exposed, and she also proved to Joseph and her doctor that she was a virgin. This may of symbolized the temptation Joseph felt to take away Mary's purity. There was a very prevalent sexual tension between her and the doctor. The doctor seemed to touch her in a non-medical manner, and struck me to have underline bad intentions. I am unsure why Mary let her son put his head under her gown. It was certainly strange to let a boy that old intentionally look at his mother's naked body.

Even after Mary gave birth, I was not convinced that Joseph believed that the child was the son of God. When Jesus or Jr ran off to "take on his father's work" Joseph tried to stop him and get him into the car. He did not believe Jr had an agenda to do God's work. The people around her also seemed to take the same approach. Toward the end of the movie someone casually (almost sarcastically) said "Hail Mary" to Mary. Societies disinterest in a virgin pregnancy may of been Godard's way of saying "religion is dead".

Again the cinematography was amazingly done. The closeups of the flowers, and the numerous still shots looked like well done abstract landscape paintings. If the film was about thirty minutes shorter I would have been more impressed. After a while I grew antsy, but the underlined issues seemed fit for Godard.