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Goodbye to Language

Jean-Luc Godard
Adieu au langage
France 2014 / 70’
3D screening

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.
In the meantime, we will have seen
people talking of the demise of the dollar,
of truth in mathematics
and of the death of a robin.

The most extreme and the most appreciated film in Cannes. The applause it received was in fact a tribute to the memory of New Wave thrills. Filmed in 3D, this atonal and purposefully nonsensical poem of snippets, clichés, quotations, and aphorisms tests the viewer’s patience, but it is also fascinating as the only truly non-narrative film in the competition. For Godard, three-dimensional images are both a field of maneuver and a playground, and some of his experiments (such as shots of long shadows falling on asphalt) go far beyond what is typically done by the makers of 3D superproductions. The director makes our eyes work – by the end of this short (70-minute) film, we are truly aware of the process of watching and of its physical implications. Just as the whole of the film is about the sterility of language and sighs about animals’ unreflective reception of the world (the main character is Godard’s dog), the relief felt upon leaving the screening room seems to be part of the artistic intention.

Michał Oleszczyk (dwutygodnik.com)


Cannes IFF 2014 - Jury Prize, Palm Dog

Jean-Luc Godard

Born in 1930 in Paris, Jean-Luc Godard is a director, screenwriter, actor, film critic, historian, and film theorist. He has been one of the greatest experimental filmmakers in the history of cinema, and was one of the co-creators of the French New Wave and a member of the team at "Cahiers du cinéma” who boldly manifested his creative freedom, and, through the use of new technology, revolutionized the language of film at each stage in the development of his own creative work. He was the subject of a New Horizons retrospective at the 10th edition of the T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival.

"As a critic, I already considered myself to be a filmmaker. Today, I still consider myself to be a critic, and I am one to a certain degree more so than ever before. Instead of writing an article, I make a film in which I introduce critical categories. I see myself as an essayist. I create essays in the form of stories that are not written down but are rather filmed.” (Jean-Luc Godard)

Selected filmography

1960 Do utraty tchu / À bout de souffle / Breathless

1965 Szalony Piotruś / Pierrot le fou / Crazy Pete

1980 Ratuj się, kto może. (Życie) / Sauve qui peut (la vie) / Every Man for Himself

2001 Pochwała miłości / Eloge de l'amour / In Praise of Love

2010 Film socjalizm / Film Socialisme / Socialism

Cast & Crew

director Jean-Luc Godard
screenplay Jean-Luc Godard
cinematography Fabrice Aragno
editing Jean-Luc Godard
cast Héloise Godet, Kamel Abdeli, Richard Chevallier, Zoé Bruneau, Christian Gregori
producer Alain Sarde, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
production Wild Bunch, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC)
sales Wild Bunch
language French
colouration colour