Aug 26, 2011

Film Socialisme (2010): B

Film Socialisme is meta-Godardian, but for the sake of those unfamiliar with the director's long catalog of subversion, I'm going to try to describe it in other terms. This is about as narratively vague and demanding a viewing experience as you're ever likely to encounter (hell, even Un Chien Andalou strikes me as having a more concrete through-line), but as frustrating as Godard's latest may be, it's also frequently rewarding. The story seems to exist at a tertiary level, as if caught in bits and pieces by accident and only assembled into a movie once discovered. The medium is the message, and through the countless changes in format and storytelling "direction," a vision of anger and tongue-in-cheek troublemaking emerges. Thematically overlapping pastiches aboard a luxury cruise ship and, later, at a family-owned gas station (dig that llama) speak to issues of economy and technology; it's like some stillborn excess of a digital underworld, a Penguin (as in Danny DeVito)-like reject with a lot on its mind. I can hardly imagine a less marketable film, but that's part of the joy of watching this deliberately unwatchable thesis. Godard's "fuck you" knows no bounds.

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