Tuesday, 23 December 2014


This review is, naturally, a perversion of the notions set forth by its own subject, a film crafted from thoughts and techniques that might genuinely inspire a revolution in filmmaking were they more easily decipherable. But the obnoxious opacity of Goodbye to Language 3D is just one of its many intrinsic layers, sometimes even literally so. All of these layers, entire theses could be penned on what Jean-Luc Godard strives to achieve and/or achieves herein, yet his own comprehensive thesis is remarkably brief, at fewer than 70 minutes. Its primary complexity is in its contradiction - Godard seeks purity in abstraction, that very purity mitigated by its confounding nature - though even the film's myriad contradictions (the literalness of the content to the abstraction of the form, the philosophical to the sensory) possess a clarity, cemented within as essential components to Godard's theories. Principally, he seeks to abandon verbal communication (forgive the crudeness of my phrasing, only to properly explicate Godard's intentions could encompass a dozen generous reviews), correctly identifying it as symbolic of a constructed unreality in which we humans feel so comfortable. It is deceit, and he explores the very furthest reaches of his free aural and visual medium to find such obscure but such effective methods of returning to the truth. Fitting that he must travel so far down the rabbit hole he comes out the other end to do so, since the freedom he utilises and the truth he discovers are equally boundless - their capabilities are immense, as the natural world he shows such reverence for in Goodbye to Language. Equally fitting that he utilises a freedom that he was instrumental in designing - this is a most solipsistic film, a documentary, perhaps, of Godard's own boundless imagination, and a statement of tremendous optimism. He relies upon old innovations to fashion new innovations, and suggests that cinema is so far from finished innovating. Goodbye to Language 3D, as baffling as it is, has all of the ingredients, technically, to inspire a revolution in filmmaking as A Bout de Souffle once did.