Monday, November 16, 2009

Notre Musique 2004

* Jean Luc Godard, 76 minutes, French*

A meditation on life, centred around the reality of violence. Hell is war. Purgatory is where we are, with all our questions of the meaning of it all. The Egyptian poet as himself recites his poetry ( below ) and  Godard as himself talks about reality and illusion. And guess what, there is a heaven!

A hard to figure but easy to enjoy visual-tonal-verbal-intellectual essay on the plight of humanity. The elegant fusion of words, images and music makes for a delectable repast. Let's once and for all get over the stone age myth that a movie is a story. Stories are  tedious. A film is an instrument of transformation.

From the film
Mahmoud Darwich, the poet

.... those who write
their own story
inherit the earth of those words.
There is no more room left for Homer.
You try to be the Trojan's poet.
Euripides was Greek.
Troy never told its story.
Does a people or a country
that has great poets
have the right to defeat
a people that doesn´t have poets?
Can a people be strong
without writing poetry?
If they defeat us in poetry we are done for....

Godard as Godard
Heisenberg and Bohr were waIking through Denmark´s countryside.They pass by the castIe of EIsinore.The German savant says, ´That castle has nothing extraordinary about it". The Danish physicist repIies,"Yes, but if you say, ´Hamlet ´s castIe´, then it becomes extraordinary."
EIsinore: the real. Hamlet: the imaginary.
Imaginary: certainty. Real: uncertainty.
The principIe of moviemaking: to take the light...and shine it upon our night

Olga, the Russian Jewish emigre woman:
Two things give me very small, another very big.
But the small one is aIso big.
What ´s the small one?
Could it be so important? Is it be possible to kill without suffering?
And the second reason, the big one?
The other world.
Punishment, you mean?
That doesn´t matter.
The other world,simply the other world.
You think there is anyone who doesn´t think about the other world?
Everyone can onIy judge for themselves.
Freedom will only be total when living or dying is indifferent

Everything boils down to the individual human being. Everyone shares culpability.

Olga blows herself up and sure enough, this other world, paradiso, where she finds herself  sharing an apple, is all greenery and streams, guarded by US marines. Honestly, even without the marines, Godard at his advanced age, has a rather bleak vision of the world to be. He could at least have equipped heaven with internet, movies, and books. How long can you look at greenery or subsist on apples?


Ronak M Soni said...

What a post! Had to read it thrice over, and finally figured out what you were saying. Never done Godard, but really want to watch this movie now.

S. M. Rana said...

@ Ronak

If you allow me to opine, Paths of Glory is a film that I can recommend without any reservation. It's an adrenaline pump while remaining at a high peak of aestheticism and insight into the working of the state.

In Godard Breathless ( 1960 ) is a more affective movie than the present one.

Ronak M Soni said...

Why give the worse movie a more interesting review?
Well, I suppose it's a problem you end up facing regularly when you're regularly watching movies on the upper reaches of quality.

I love Kubrick, and am going to end up, in the next year or so, watching everything by him (I'm done with Strangelove, Spartacus and Eyes Wide Shut).
Right now, however, I'm more in a phase of less grand movies. Thanks for the recommendation, anyway.

S M Rana said...

@ Ronak

When I want to while away time I go for Bolly. Did you see Tom, Dick and Harry? Gulshan Grover as Soprano the super villain gives an inspired performance challenging Mogambo. He even does a hilarios Globe Dance directly derived from Chaplin's in The Great Dictator.

Literary Dreamer said...

A meditation on life, you say? Waking Life might be its modern equivalent, then. That movie kind of has a story, but it's the visuals, and the audio, and the thoughts that are most important. It's also a movie one has to see again and again to form an appreciation of it, and then a love for it. I'm planning on a third viewing, myself, for it seems that I'm starting to understand--and like--the film.

S. M. Rana said...

I have Waking Life lined up as my next victim.

Ronak M Soni said...

I remember watching Tom, Dick and Harry, but nothing more.
Personally, my mindless fun choice is American and English sitcoms.

I love the history of the Waking Life post on your blog. It was perfectly good the first time round.