Thursday, January 04, 2007

Let's Get the Hell Out of Here

So Pete . . . you understand that I can appreciate your Christmas gift to me and be honestly thankful for it, even if I didn't enjoy watching it, per se, right? Just making sure. You'd rather have the honest opinion, I'm sure. Right?
Yeah, so Alphaville. What the hell is up with this? It does make me want to see more Godard films, since if the man is a titan of Frenchy-French cinema he must have really made up for this one somewhere.
So some of the shots are nice, and on some level I can appreciate mingling a sci-fi with a classic noir, but that's where it ends for me. Is the man unable to keep up any kind of dramatic pace or engage in character development, or just uninterested? Did he choose by coincidence to challenge exactly those conventions of filmmaking that require a budget for set design or a talent for putting together a script? Can we avoid using "light-years" as a measure of time from now on? These and other questions boggle the mind.
And for an artist to describe a future dystopia where the only attribute of interest is the squashing of creative identity is narcissistic, morally vacuous, and bland. The whole film is mindlessly self-absorbed, fixated on its central artist-symbolizing character. The theme's been done anyway, and better. Speaking as a denizen of the future (relative to the mid-1960s) let me clarify that the creative spirit lives on, and that people might be idiots but they're not drones, even if they don't appreciate symbolic Frenchy-French cinema.

7 Comments:

Blogger Nate said...

Who cares about the creative freedom afforded you in your comfortable future-life? It is mandated that at age 30 -- not so far off -- you will be annihilated... in Carousel. No... wait. Carousel.

I've only seen Godard's "Weekend", which has an apparently similar, Bert Brecht-like drive to prevent the viewer from attaching emotionally to the characters or plot. Which is (1) valid, but (2) frequently annoying, and (2a) once you've seen it done a few times stops being very effective as anything except self-conscious political hectoring.

1/04/2007 10:44 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

FYI, at the moment I can't publish new posts due to presumably technical issues. So no posts from me until I, you know, can. Not that you're missing much. Other than me pointing out that Bill Cowher is in fact retiring from the Steelers, which anyone else who's been keeping an eye on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website knows already.

1/05/2007 7:34 AM  
Anonymous danblim said...

Breathless is great. Masculin-Feminin I also enjoyed. You may want to just avoid Tout Va Bien unless you want to watch self-reflexive cinema.

Godard is important, but there are some other big names. Renoir's Grande Illusion, Resnais's Hiroshima Mon Amour, Melville's Le Samourai. Any of these are great, important French cinema works.

1/07/2007 1:47 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Jack, send me the DVD. I'll get you something else.

1/11/2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I wasn't kidding, Pete, I'm thankful for it and I'm not going to make you replace it. Besides, I've had it for three weeks and I'm used to owning it now.

1/11/2007 11:25 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

I mean, really, if you're not gonna watch it, i'd like to own it myself, and would be more likely to ever watch it again than you are. its not a big deal. its stupid for you to keep a DVD of a movie that you didn't like at all.

1/12/2007 12:39 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Hmm, yeah, that's logical. As long as there are no hard feelings.

1/12/2007 6:03 PM  

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