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Letter to Jane [1972)

Fucking goddamned brilliant.

It is not surprise.  An exclamation without an exclamation point.

It is a reaffirmation.

That Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin, in 1972, could dismantle the entire system imposing ill upon the world.

If their critique was not inclusive enough to include the shortcomings of communism, we must forgive them somewhat.

It really doesn’t matter that this film operates in a Chris Marker manner.

It was the right form to address a picture.  In fact, the spirit is much more akin to Antonioni’s Blow-Up.

The ontology of the image.

André Bazin.

This is the world from which Godard and Gorin emerge.

But the key touchstone may indeed be, as the filmmakers say, Uncle Bertolt.

Brecht.

Truth simple.  Telling the truth difficult.

Dziga Vertov.

Lenin.

It is a revelation to hear Godard speaking English.

Yes, there are no subtitles here (unless, perhaps, you are French and don’t understand English).

That makes this an especially important film for the English-speaking world.  Like British Sounds.

But most importantly this film encourages intellectual scrutiny of mass media.

Scrutiny of photographs.  Scrutiny of captions.  Scrutiny of context.

I think, therefore I am.

This is the acting default which we are told emerged (with sound) in the 1930s of Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Beware of pity (advises Stefan Zweig).

A town without pity.  Gene Pitney.  Pithy.

No filmmaker has been more bold, in every way, than Jean-Luc Godard.

But his collaborators deserve their due for standing by him.

Gorin.  Anne-Marie Miéville.

So many ways to be bold…

To show the futility of 3-D.  Actually, to show how mundane superheroes are.

Just one aspect in the latest installment of brilliance (Adieu au langage).

His latest, Letter to Jane, Histoire(s) du cinema

They all smash to bits flailing failures like San Andreas.

It’s as if the master is saying, “Just think for a minute.”

But the master, JLG, dove into thought and grabbed handfuls of paradoxes.

That is the true artist.

That is the eternal man.

It makes me a bit emotional.

What dedication!

From Roxy the dog all the way back to Michel Poiccard.

It is hard to focus on just one episode in this immense body of work.

That said, the true message of Godard is elusive because his fame (and infamy) overshadow the meaning conveyed.

But his work says…carry on.

-PD

10 responses to “Letter to Jane [1972)

  1. Cool!! I didn’t know that Godard has done shorts. By the way go see this website you might like it http://52frenchfilms.org. Nice review.

  2. I’d never got around to seeing this film. Don’t have any excuses now (being in English and invoking Marker, Blow Up, and Gene Pitney).

    Also wonderful explanation of Adieu au langage. I had seen it, but not so well as you have.

  3. dude I love your writing style so much. I want to steal it!!

    “An exclamation without an exclamation point.”

    That was my favourite line.

    I haven’t seen a single Goddard film. This post has me wanting to change that! I think I’ll start with the one you mentioned, his most recent one Goodbye To Language. Tho obviously I won’t be able to watch it in 3D.

    Have you seen his most recent film?

    • Yeah, Goodbye to Language is maybe his crowning achievement. It blew my mind! And I only saw it in 2-D. Thanks so much for the compliment!!! –Pauly

      • Your welcome mate! Normal is overrated, I like different styles of writing.

        Sounds like I need to see Goddard’s latest! I’ve been meaning to watch his stuff for years but never have.

        Cheers !

  4. rereading your post it seems you have… i think. Perhaps I should start with his earlier stuff first, I’ve read his latest film is a bit challenging to watch

  5. F G B indeed. I like the Jane blog.

    How did I get unfollowed?

  6. I am trying to find this on Amazon.ca, but it is not listed. Is this the film, Tout va bien?

    • The Criterion Collection packaged it with Tout va bien, but it is a separate film. Yes, I don’t know that it has ever been sold as a separate film (in terms of home media). –Paul

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