Wednesday, January 25, 2012

01-20-12: A social lesson lost

FILM SOCIALISME (2010) (Unrated) 102 mins. (English Subtitles) ** D: Jean-Luc Godard.

European history, society, relations and life as seen through the lens of Jean-Luc Godard.

Ummm, yeah. Last year I heard so much complaining about how "The Tree of Life" made little sense whatsoever. I could understand where they were coming from but for some reason I totally bought into the film and got it. It will mean something different for each viewer. Yes it was disjointed and many scenes left you bewildered and you are left scratching your head wondering what that was all about. I mentioned in my review of Godard's "Week End" that had I seen it when I was younger I would have dismissed it as crap. Despite the fact that it was all over the map I was still able to enjoy it and in someway follow it. I can't say the same for Godard's latest. After watching it I felt as bewildered as those who didn't respond to "The Tree of Life" and whatever Godard was trying to say was completely lost on me. Nothing registered, nothing stuck with me, I basically tuned out and lost the lesson.

Broken into three acts, the first takes place on a cruise ship, the second at a gas station and the third attempts to bring it all together. I could totally understand the metaphor of many cultures stuck on a ship in the middle of the ocean. I did quite get the reason for the gas station and third act just seemed to meander. The dialogue that permeates the entire film really amounted to nothing at least for this viewer. Characters just break into random conversations about society, the past, the present, the future, morality, etc. As each character discusses something I've already forgotten what it was they were talking about early. Perhaps it has something to do with the subtitling but I attribute more to not allowing a viewer the opportunity to process things. Instead he continues to thrown things at you and in the end your brain is overwhelmed from trying to process it all that you disconnect from the film itself. I was at the point where I was just looking at the images and reading the subtitles, I wasn't actively participating in the film.

In the end it just boiled down to a bunch of images with comprehensible dialogue in incomprehensible situations. None of it made sense and I didn't care to figure it out.

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