If you think 3D is for superheroes and the mass destruction of cities, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language is proving that 3D is for whatever Jean-Luc Godard wants — like completely disorienting the audience by making them go cross-eyed. The 83-year-old filmmaker’s latest is blowing critics away, bringing more innovation and spit-in-your-eye punk attitude to the Cannes Film Festival than anyone else this year. Synopsis, via JLG:
the idea is simple
a married woman and a single man meet
they love, they argue, fists fly
a dog strays between town and country
the seasons pass
the man and woman meet again
the dog finds itself between them
the other is in one
the one is in the other
and they are three
the former husband shatters everything
a second film begins
the same as the first
and yet not
from the human race we pass to metaphor
this ends in barking
and a baby’s cries
Since the release date is still TBA, here are some other things to know about Goodbye to Language, as gleaned from reviews and social media outbursts.
JLG’S 3D IS ACTUALLY A DIY 3D RIG COMPRISED OF TWO DSLR CAMERAS STUCK TOGETHER.
THE MAIN CHARACTER OF THE FILM IS GODARD’S OWN DOG, MIÉVILLE
An early piece of film dialogue puts it simply, “I hate characters.” He often punctuates a scene of humans rambling about this and that, typing away on their smartphones with a simple pan to the dog, as if to say, “You get it right? Fuck these people.”
THERE IS A “LANDMARK” SHOT EVERYONE IS APPLAUDING
JLG is still inventing new ways of shooting a film. Best known for creating the jump cut in 1960, he’s been ahead of the curve ever since. Craig Keller from Masters Of Cinema calls Goodbye to Language, “A landmark in the history of cinema, on the order of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” The one shot almost everyone has mentioned features a split screen effect with a woman exiting a room on the left and entering in the opposite direction. Because each eye is taking in opposing information and the 3D is so immersive, they describe involuntarily crossing their eyes. Just this one shot received an enthusiastic ovation.
Godard’s sense of humor is usually overlooked, easy to miss within his essay-style, dense work. This time, no one missed an extended scene of a man taking a shit on the toilet reading a book on Rodin’s “The Thinker” while defecation noises fill the soundtrack. He’s also apparently worked ringtones into the rhythm of the score, the sensation of someone forgetting to turn their phone off serendipitously matching the soundtrack.
The end credits feature crying babies and a whimpering dog in the absence of music. Most see this as a jab at Cannes audiences who are notorious for booing and hissing if they don’t like a film.
A SUPERHERO-STYLE POST-CREDITS SCENE
Continuing his avant-garde use of blockbuster tropes he throws in a “teaser” scene after the credits. Don’t hold your breath. Goodbye to Language is likely his last film.