In which Godard's farewell to language and warm embrace of 3D makes us laugh and ponder the consciousness of a dog.
Jean-Luc Godard (France, Masters)
The rare late work from a master filmmaker that feels like a scrappy, bold debut, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D is a revelation, albeit an often inscrutable one. Godard uses 3D to augment his usual play with onscreen text and chaotic juxtaposition of various narrative, thematic, and now spatial planes—superimposing contradictory messages on top of each other, undercutting his intertitles, and twice forcing us to choose our own image by squinting either eye.
The result is maybe his most vital and formally adventurous essay film in decades, and a surprisingly accessible point of entry for later period novices who might have written him off as a difficult Marxist scold. To be fair, there’s plenty of Marxism and plenty of scolding—and a deep bibliography of the usual suspects from continental philosophy and 20th century literature, from Badiou to Sebald. But Goodbye to Language feels like the work of a free man, who’s even open to ceding the better part of the film to a dog’s perspective on his masters’ tedious love affair. It’s a doggone pleasure.