In his latest film The Image Book, Godard demands a «revolution in the revolution», calling for the subject to constitute his own law against the society, which – according to Godard – is nothing other than a constellation of organised crime.
When it comes to (opens in a new window)Jean-Luc Godard, it is difficult to speak about a softening with age. He sides with the bomb in a quite literal, political sense. We might immediately expect the accusation of an «affirmation of terrorism», the well-known pattern of the political rhetoric of a hypocritical state ideology. Godard isn’t impressed by such reproaches. He sets free a joy in technical experimentation, which – confirmed by his authority – can make it all the way to the Cannes competition selection.
At the same time, his instructions transform a classic press conference into a performance act. Journalists line up to offer their questions to the master. His presence is limited to a small, handy screen. It would be easy to transfer the video of his communication to a big screen in the pressroom. But he has decided differently. Critics from all over the planet ask their questions into their smartphones, questions that resemble the ones you would ask an oracle, like those about the future of cinema and film culture.
His film The Image Book (Le Livre d’image) can easily be claimed to be the most radical esthetical proposition in the Cannes competition. Texts, sounds and images are permanently fragmented, transformed, transferred, segmented, and decontextualised. Different languages are used. Variations of sound volumes seem to be the rule; original sounds from film segments are mixed and voiced-over with commentaries. Modification of colours completes the palette of possible transformations.
«It would take a whole day to tell the story of one second, and it would take an eternity to tell only one day.»
Even in comparison with Godard’s 2014 Cannes-presented work Adieu au Langage – already a wild work drunk with associations, marked by permanently changing voices and perspectives – The Image Book is even less compromising, characterised by harder and quicker cuts. If in 2014 melodious sound sequences could sometimes be remarked, they are now abandoned completely. In Adieu au Langage Godard experimented with 3D-technology that offered a visual space experience. Now the sound gets the ever-changing treatment of an acoustic exploration.
A joyful celebration of anarchism