Sunday, June 6, 2010

Notre Musique

Last year I made a concerted effort to familiarize myself with the early works of Jean-Luc Godard. I didn't see everything, but I saw enough to get a sense of how I felt about him. More often than not, I could appreciate some of what he was trying to do, and admire his skill, but did not enjoy his sometimes scolding, didactic tone. I also felt like I didn't grasp all of his political allusions, not having lived in France in the 60's (considering I wasn't even born then).

I've slowed down my progress, but I'm still working my way through some of his better known films, and figured it was high time I saw something of his that was relatively recent. Notre Musique doesn't feel a whole lot different from the 60's movies I saw, except maybe more serene. That means some of the same problems: characters speaking in slogans instead of having conversations, holier-than-thou political condemnation, a dense layer of references and allusions that's hard to sort out. But his deft skill is still apparent as ever, and he still knows how to wow with his technique, and provoke with some of his philosophical inquiries. I think I've made peace with the fact that I'm never going to love JLG the way many cinephiles do, but there's no denying that he's a unique talent whose work is worth exploring.

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