Godard, Noun and Adjective

There’s a new Godard interview, freshly translated by Film Comment. It’s full of the old auteur’s usual bon mots, such as…

The technological world we live in owes everything to Greece. Who invented logic? Aristotle. If this, and if that, then therefore that. Logic. It is what the dominant powers use all day long, making sure there are no contradictions, so that we stay in the same logic. Hannah Arendt did say that logic induces totalitarianism. So everybody owes Greece money today. It could ask for billions in author’s royalties from the contemporary world and it would be logical to give it to them. Right now.

Godard’s always exaggerated himself in interviews – which he presciently lampoons in Breathless – and his idea of taking capitalist notions of intellectual property to this extreme bears fruit. There have been smart investigations into IP and its (ab)uses in recent years (Lewis Hyde’s Common as Air, David Shields’ Reality Hunger) all of which assume a kind of American hegemony. Would the IP lobbyists change their mind if such property were found to originate outside our borders? I know this is absurd, but it’s what Godard does to me.

I snapped up a ticket to Wednesday’s NYFF screening of Film Socialisme. Yes, I expect it to be confusing. That’s okay. I like that Godard’s films exist inside the world of cinema without pretense of mimesis. Too few films embrace this; Tarantino’s last three qualify, on the other end of the spectrum.

This will be my first new Godard film after reading Richard Brody’s compelling Everything Is Cinema. Expect my review to sound like I translated it into Babelfish and back again.

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