A silver mt. zion.
Arizona into the Rockies.
Music of wide open spaces.
Charles Mingus checks in.
Was QAnon bullshit?
WFMU seems to think so.
And all their hipster listeners.
Missing the Godspeed You! Black Emperor.
My Bloody Valentine.
Automatic for the people.
Rightly asking if this guy, Pauly Deathwish, is Borat.
Elvis working at the truck stop.
Into French philosophy at a Barnes & Noble.
The great philosophers.
Taking on Philip Glass.
Poor girl with grey teeth.
Addicted to Kardashians.
Smoking candy cigarettes.
Brutal, cold world.
No fall back.
Wanna lock me for blood pressure.
It ain’t no cakewalk.
Tech moves fast.
Better than nothing.
You have a printing press.
The Innocence Mission.
Porgy and Bess.
A thousand planes.
Two ambient instrumentals to start this album.
Setting an amber tone.
Time is a luxury.
And Miles comes in.
Like music from Big Pink.
Very much of the Deserter’s Songs type.
And Coltrane leaps in.
A little noodling.
And WHAT THE FUCK.
Now we are in Blue Hawaii.
On a jukebox in Nashville.
Sawdust on the floor.
Just spit that tabaccy anywheres.
It really is Elvis.
We’re in east Texas with George Jones.
Bona fide redneck interpolation.
“Daisies on Your Doorstep”.
And back to EXPANSIVE verb.
Phil Spector would have loved this.
The plandemic that killed Phil Spector.
Biggest celebrity to buy the farm.
Buy the farm?
Or sell the farm?
During this whole plandemic.
You have no publicity.
I block all reposts.
I wanna EARN it.
Dissolve into what?
More Mercury Rev homage.
Drums from “Desperado”.
Another lonely bloke ended by “Holes”.
Favorite song ever.
Back to regularly scheduled programming.
Knife in the Water.
John Cale droning away on the viola.
Definite Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci nod.
Again The Innocence Mission.
Neil Young big time.
Stooges meet Beach Boys meet Messiaen.
But the Bowie knife is orange.
Made in Germany.
Kanye West and Wayne Coyne drop in.
When you can sing, but you get raped by auto-tune.
Loosen that shit up.
Going all Arabic on me.
Clouds of sound on almost every track.
A very ambient album.
Peaches DJ Berlin.
Roger Waters again.
Straight into Bjork.
Does she umlaut?
Sounds of a Mac.
James Bond in Rio.
Spy guitar for reprise.
Rhythm of the saints.
Beethoven emperor concerto.
A masterful track.
NOW WE’RE TALKING.
Papa Trump back in the house.
For the apocalypse.
L.L. Cool J.
Jesus fucking Christ.
Vengeance is his.
Everyone given a chance.
A fair chance.
I hear a single.
Ramthun came through.
About fucking time.
There’s a riot goin’ on.
Tears of a motherfucking clown.
Having the French horns get groovy.
Sketches of Spain.
The Soft Bulletin.
Christ coming down from the clouds.
Like a ton of bricks.
Don’t call it a comeback.
Not all the way.
Rocket pans across stereo field.
AND ROSE AGAIN, MOTHERFUCKERS.
Jesus more space than NASA.
Really a masterpiece of sample placement.
This is like a fucking lost Roland Kirk album.
Concerto for Booty and Orchestra.
Can never spell.
No more spelling.
Adieu au langage.
Ties together album.
Last track coming on like Faust.
Built to Spill.
In memory of a bloke who bit it.
End of Night on Earth.
You will live forever, my friend.
I never knew you.
You aren’t forgotten.
Thought of you put in this track.
Yerself is steam.
Great album by Pauly Deathwish.
Jesus and Mary Chain.
A dangerous confection.
Hit to Death in the Future Head.
Summer is here.
Vacuum cleaner solo.
Boys peel out.
And again with the UPC scan.
Breaking up on reentry.
Serious audio fuckery.
And from this right into kung fu. Peter Sellers on Bowie’s Low. Trance. But really what we have here is excellent counterpoint. Lunatic Harness. Polyrhythms. Album breaks down soon. Fast. Abruptly. Mental block regarding Wuhan origin. Harmonic outline you would never find in China. Terry Riley. A Rainbow in Curved Air. Eno. Visconti. And the others involved. A beauty that inspired Philip Glass. This is what we have. Low and heroes. Symphonies. Glass. Riley. Minimalism. Album called zenith. Track two already hits “Nadir”. What’s the arc here? Arc-en-ciel? Arkansas? Immediately pensive. Very unnerving. Pop rock track. Into existential oblivion. Abrupt modulation. Uncomfortable. Eccentric. Was there a thought process behind this? Commerce ruins everything. Imperfect masterpieces. The rules of the game. Radiohead. Joseph Arthur? Sparklehorse. The Magnetic Fields. Gay baritone. Sad sack confessional poetry in the world of Berryman’s Dream Songs. Brian Jonestown Massacre. The Verve. Strung out in heaven. J. Spaceman shooting up while praying. Don’t knock it… Drug addiction is real. Mental problems are real. Here we are. 2020 fucked us up. And now we wait for the next shoe to drop. Smashing Pumpkins. “Silver Fuck”? Into Sonny Rollins? Epstein. Gene Ammons. Hard to tell it’s (not) real. Which parts? Yes. No. Fooling the ear with Dave Fridmann. A totally schizophrenic record so far. Here we go! “Belgian Lace, Pale Black Mascara…” This is more like it. Rollerskate Skinny. Martin Rev. Lots of counterpoint here. Fux me up. Disney xylophones. Internal rhyme-sanity. Dylan puking up brilliance. Always Roger Waters with the bass. Always The Wall. Pompeii. Hail to the Thief. Again and again. Trying to break new ground. And it does. Yerself is Steam. Album starts to make sense after five tracks. 1 & 5. This is not bullshit. I don’t know about the jazz. I don’t know about the monotonous instrumentals. Absolutely “Car Wash Hair”. Suzanne Thorpe would be proud. Seems to be talking about tits. A good ride. Drum machine chugging away. Can still have a good groove. Wild Acoustic Chamber Orchestra. W.A.C.O. Woodwinds and glockenspiel. Boces. What the fuck is this shit? O.K. computer. Sounds like some QAnon stuff. I feel Carlos Santana coming on. This is what Assange jams out to. Lots of plays at Fort Meade. Salsa. James Brown. Puerto Rican funk. As AOC goes to jail. Serious national security issues for lyrics. Fictional charges? Tracers everywhere. This theory involves an actual conspiracy. Criminal conspiracy outlined. By players. Event 201. Short circuit. Johnny 5 is alive. Legalistic funk. QAnon wet dream. FISAgate. “Spy Gate”. Somebody send this to Sean Hannity. Obamagate. Where is John Durham? Ryan Dark White knows the truth about Rosenstein. How many coup attempts by the Left? Back to Billy Corgan. Ok, so we have an Alex Jones connection. Early-’90s goodness. Butch Vig. Dream pop. James Iha. Bet this guy knows the real story about the Standard Hotel(s). Great lyrics! Must be some inside jokes here. But HOLY FUCK! He nailed the “Holes” trumpet solo. Deserter’s Songs. God damn it. How did they do this? The liner notes say Pauly Deathwish has also produced all four of these albums. Kind of a Jimmy Page thing going on. Great drum sound. Yo La Tengo. “Mayonnaise”. Siamese Dream. Benjamin Britten reference? Slick! So this guy basically had a music education on par with Jack Nitzsche. And then went for scumbag rockroll like Phil Spector. Gotta respect this weird marriage. This fascination with grunge. Dinge. And the facility to clean it up like a chandelier. Very fucking impressive. No record label. Kinda sounds like no funding. No budget. The Delgados. Hate. The Great Eastern. More Spiritualized telephony. The Wall. Which is to say, Bob Erzin. And as dark as Berlin. Which is to say, Bob Ezrin. Neil Young vibe. Tonight’s the Night. Some dark-ass shit. Nick Kent, where y@t? IV Thieves. Coulda done this. What if Chris “Frenchie” Smith had produced this? This kid like a protege. I hear the moniker (stage name) was bestowed by Frenchie Smith. Strings good. Eastern European orchestra. Must have cost a small fortune. Arcade Fire. French cinema. Romantic-era harmony. But pierced. Sophisticated. Absolutely Floyd. “In The Flesh”. Last track on Harvest. Words between the lines. The promise of the ’60s went to shit in the ’70s. Where’s QAnon? Where’s Nakasone? Where’s CYBERCOM? Keith Alexander on Amazon board. Velvet Underground feeding back. Les Rallizes Denudes. Primal Scream. “Swastika Eyes”. ADAT. DAT machine. Sampling. Stereolab. Back to another standout track. “Chaconne”. Will Smith in the summertime. Some slick shit. Messiaen. Jonny Greenwood. Lyrics world-class. All those sand paintings. Write and destroy. Suicide girls. Thom Yorke’s brain doesn’t have this facility. He’s a great stylist. Definitely an homage. And to Godard. Snow white and psycho. Heavy shit for Laetitia Sadier and Tim Gane to check out. Not far from Faust IV. So sweet. John Paul Jones. Ramble on. Charlotte Gainsbourg. Keren Ann. Last track noisy as fuck. Lo-fi. Tom Waits. Sticks together. Some sad shit. Music from Big Pink. Mournful trombone(s). John Simon. “Bird on a Wire”. They don’t make records like this anymore. David Bowie not dead. Great phrasing. Sinatra. Mark Linkous. It’s a Wonderful Life. Believable bass. Upright citizen. Bayou curious. Noise floor drops out. Some perverse humor here. An “album”. It is. Ten songs. Ten different directions. Some tracks stick together. Like a deck of cards shuffled. Lots of variety. Circus peanuts. The orange ones. Pure sugar. Chewy. Strange texture. Lots of melancholy here. What’s this bloke so sad about? Tell Thurston Moore. You gotta hear this shit. Pauly Deathwish’s 4th album (this summer!). Is this guy trying to set a Guinness record or something? And he already has a 5th one out. Christ!
That glow in The World’s End.
But a sadness.
My Bloody Valentine.
Sloshy grunge hats.
I Am the Cosmos.
Yerself Is Steam.
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
You don’t know how it feels.
I can only give you everything.
Black magic warded off by honesty.
Serge on the way.
Lenny Bruce, even.
Hit to Death in the Future Head.
Wait at least until track three to break it down.
Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.
The confusion of ridiculous counterpoint.
Tonal, yet dissonant.
Thick Billy Corgan.
Definitely a sadness here.
All you need is hate.
The Inflated Tear.
Columbus, Ohio with duct tape.
Posing with a bass clarinet.
Did I ever write one?
Yes, I did.
Or is it contrabassoon?
Nadia Boulanger can tell you.
My teacher’s teacher (twice over).
The Left Banke.
Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements.
A little lo-fi.
Changes that pull at your heartstrings.
A fucking marimba solo?!?
Are you kidding me???
Pauly Deathwish collaboration with Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes.
Lost Bayou Ramblers.
Gordon knew him as Death.
I have become death.
Tim Gane tone.
Back to J. Spaceman.
Dirty ass rock and roll with pristine horns.
Is this the artist we’ve been waiting for?
R. Stevie Moore?
Sounds like Jack Nitzsche.
Major Velvet vibes.
Dylan with P-bass.
Too much attitude.
Let it Come Down.
Fucker kicked the bucket.
First to be vaxxed.
First Suicide album.
The Soft Bulletin.
Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space.
Gimme some lovin’?
La Monte Young.
First rehearsal tapes.
New York City heroin.
Warhol Factory torn down.
Across from YMCA.
Great throwaway lyrics.
Sound of universe.
Direct into mixing console.
Blood pressure rising.
I think I’m in love.
Will the circle remain unbroken?
When I had dinner with Roky.
First Velvets album.
But you gotta buy it.
Cop shoot cop.
On the jukebox.
Eat at the gas station.
First time in Texas.
It’s definitely Bowie.
Old is new again.
A fuck ton of flutes.
Flute loops literally.
Little fluffy clouds.
Gay glam chorus.
Boys peel out.
Gives me pants.
A Shot in the Dark.
Under the Western Freeway.
With Sean Mackowiak.
Comes back loud.
One song mastered soft.
The main influence of Pauly Deathwish’s debut album.
Chariots of fire.
Such a groove.
By the side of a freeway.
Under an underpass.
Not like RHCP.
How did a Trump supporter make this album?!?
I thought all Trump supporters were redneck morons???
This is way fucking better than Ariel Pink’s dabblings.
This sounds like a debut album.
Songs saved up.
Like The Strokes.
Cinematic as fuck.
Trail of Dead.
Because Pauly wrote the string arrangement on IX.
Snot on the crowd.
Lost Bayou Ramblers lost sessions.
This was all made on an iPhone?!?
Major 7ths in uppermost range of piano.
Almost indistinguishable from octaves.
Only for the sensuous ear.
Waters delayed bass.
No nonsense drums.
Humble Pie reference?!?
Predating new Bob Dylan album.
Check SoundCloud timestamp.
This is definitely the QAnon anthem.
This hook should be on a million conspiracy videos.
“10 Days of Darkness”.
Tell ’em Large Marge sent ya!
My end is my beginning is my end.
Great debut album (if I do say so myself).
There’s something special about Scotland.
Several of my favorite bands are from there.
The Delgados. Teenage Fanclub. Primal Scream.
And it is this final band which really sums up this film.
The British really have never learned how to make films.
There are two major exceptions:
Chaplin and Hitchcock.
Why would they be exceptions?
Because they made their best films in America. Hollywood.
Because Chaplin and Hitchcock are perhaps the two best. Ever.
Hitchcock was the better director. Perhaps the most important ever.
But Chaplin was the bigger genius. His talent was limitless.
So my insult is not meant to imply that the British can’t make timeless films.
But perhaps not in Britain.
But this whole British blah blah blah.
This film is going in my new category: Scotland.
Another of my favorite bands (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci) is Welsh.
I hope to have that category someday. Wales.
And last but not least: Ireland.
Which is not to say I don’t have a fond place in my heart for England.
Manchester. Liverpool. Bristol. Birmingham. Newcastle. I could go on.
But we’re here to talk about Scotland. And this film.
Trainspotting is, at once, a great film and not a great film. Simultaneously.
Let me explain.
Looks like as much of a false-flag synthetic terror…the state attacking its own people as.
Heroin addicts don’t know what day it is. Not to mention the “date”.
Heroin addicts don’t know what month it is. Even the year is a bit fuzzy.
They’re fairly sure that a new century has ticked over.
Ewan McGregor is pretty great here. In his too-small shirt. Accidentally shagging a minor.
Ewen Bremner is good here. Especially the job interview.
Beautiful to hear English which begs for subtitles.
Jonny Lee Miller has the best hair. Like Thom Yorke once upon a time.
But McGregor has the utilitarian buzz cut. The sad skinhead.
Spud on the curb. Talking up at Diane.
And Sick Boy always prattling on about James Bond movies. [like me]
Kevin McKidd is classic rifling through his VHS collection. Desperately.
Kelly Macdonald is a revelation.
But Robert Carlyle is really the only indispensable element of this entire film.
He’s not great. And yet he’s better than great.
Danny Boyle’s direction is generally daft.
It’s good. Then it’s great. Then it sucks.
But I’ll say this: this is an essential film.
You can’t know rock and roll without knowing this film.
Boyle lifted the DNA of rock (with the help of Irvine Welsh).
The story’s alright. The direction is passable.
But Robert Carlyle is a goddamned miracle.
He’s not conveying anything sublime.
But he’s conveying Scotland.
King Tut’s Wah-Wah Hut.
Yeah, I know…Edinburgh.
But it’s just as applicable to Glasgow.
I hear it in the music of Primal Scream.
And it shows up in the music of another of my favorites: Spiritualized.
And I hear it in the ravaging sounds of Nick Cave circa Grinderman.
The Anglophone world.
We Americans speak the weirdest.
Especially in my neck of the woods. Texas. The South.
But even New York. The Northeast.
There’s one more essential element about this film: Iggy Pop.
From “Lust For Life” to “Nightclubbing”, these tunes are moments of crystalized perfection.
Even Lou Reed is well-represented with “Perfect Day”.
If you wanna understand scumbag rock and roll, see this film.
Because the rockers are alive.
They have shite lives.
They live on nothing.
Unless they get lucky.
But there’s a vitality to their way of life.
See them in their natural habitat 🙂
I come to you from the darkest place.
Where all hope has been extinguished.
A maze of study and revelation.
Barely a word here spoken.
Do not give me your attention.
I am not the first person.
You wander in this dream.
He comes to know the horror.
Her and her alone.
Climb climb climb from the mist of history.
Give up your secrets to the light.
Vampyr, Kryptos, Tutankhamun.
gravity’s rainbow. CERN.
In a Glass Darkly. Published in Ireland. 1872.
Sheridan Le Fanu. Dublin.
Does Langley know about this?
Always candles. Always lighting candles.
Nicolas de Gunzberg as Julian West as Allan Gray. Got it?
MZFPK. We’re losing time quickly.
At an even pace.
Speeding towards the hour.
As slowly as we’ve ever been.
William H. Webster. The only person to have ever headed both the CIA and the FBI.
Ah! The review…
As if waking from a dream.
Or falling back into a nightmare.
Placing one foot in front of the other.
Rena Mandel could have come straight from Nosferatu.
Like Greta Schröder. 1922. 1932.
Not flapper like Frances Dade. Blonde on blonde. Helen Chandler.
UFA wanted Dracula to come out first.
A strange tactic.
And then utter failure.
But Sybille Schmitz has that Nazi jawline. Like Leni Riefenstahl.
Spoonsful of tea for a dying man.
Candles peer in through the glass.
And the camera stares upwards…at the swaying trees.
It is like Nobody Died at Sandy Hook.
To be opened after my death.
Sealed in wax thrice.
Submission is the only slow number.
Mid-tempo. A revelation. Talisman.
A crooked doctor. And you’re giving blood.
They’re putting you on statins.
The drug companies will pay. And general practitioners will have impunity whoring for big pharma.
A view to a kill.
Berlin. Surrounded by East Germany.
Buried alive in the blues.
Come spend a life in Texas.
With no one.
Come be abandoned in Texas.
Not even on the island.
He is getting his message out desperately.
Franz Liszt as Marguerite Chopin.
No comment from Gounod.
Nerval translated 1828.
Gretchen. Margaret. Marguerite.
We see why Godard became suspicious.
Because all but the Dutch declined Resnais’ solicitation for holocaust footage.
Inside the camps.
During the war.
By the most technologically-advanced civilization in terms of film production.
Obsessive-compulsive documenters of expenditures.
The problem with the gas chambers.
Sybille Schmitz looks like a raving lunatic.
The ecstasy of Stockholm syndrome. A bank. Those doe eyes and bearded hippie among the safe-deposit boxes.
The Goethe Oak at Buchenwald. THE Goethe Oak? George Washington slept here.
The Goethe Oak bombed by the Allies.
Now a concrete stump thanks to the DDR.
Janus-faced Germany. Januskopfes Deutschland. Sounds like a load of rubbish to me.
Schiller’s beech tree didn’t bite the dust till 2007.
Death by flour.
I’ll say it again: Wikipedia’s masterpiece. “List of unusual deaths”.
Sometimes we are emptied of our emotions from exhaustion.
We can’t fail at love any more than we have.
Valentine’s Day is but a mockery.
And so why does Miss Lonelyhearts push on?
And Sgt. Pepper?
Some of us have immense reservoirs of confidence.
Some of us have a penchant for risk.
But not I.
If we treat love as an investment (bear with me),
then every risk has its flipside: the potential for reward.
In love, we weigh the possibilities.
What will she say? How will he respond?
But our world has degenerated into a soulless masquerade.
Do anything…but never show your true feelings.
If we are circumspect in our psychology, we realize that many times we don’t know our own minds.
I am not a meditating ninja. I do not balance, poised to act with clarity.
No, I am clumsy.
In love, I am particularly clumsy.
To speak of such things in America…it just isn’t done.
Love is more taboo than sex.
Sex is ubiquitous, but love is vulnerability.
An American can never show vulnerability.
This is the great archetypal travesty of the film Patton.
And perhaps no greater dichotomy could exist than from that film to our film Elèna et les hommes.
It is Jean Renoir again. It is Ingrid Bergman. It is Jean Marais.
And to a very surprising extent, it is Juliette Gréco.
It must have been this film to which Godard fell in love.
More interested in Gréco than El Greco at this time. More interested in Juliette than his schoolwork.
Those dreams which would be realized in Anna Karina.
But things fall apart.
How hard to know the soul of a man or woman.
Ingrid plays the role of a Polish princess.
On Bastille Day with Mel Ferrer there is a Rabelaisian warmth to the festivities.
From one Renoir to another, there are the pinks in the cheeks. Red wine. A weak drink. Compared to Polish vodka.
And then there are the daisies. A marguerite here and there. Gounod’s Faust would have such as the leading soprano.
A grand opera in five acts is about what Elèna et les hommes feels like. There are similarities in tone and mise-en-scène to Max Ophüls’ Lola Montès, but the best comparison is to Renoir’s own The Golden Coach.
What may not be evident (due to the visual disparity between the vibrant, saturated colors of Elèna et les hommes and the black and white of Renoir’s early films) is that our film is very similar to the Renoir classic La Règle du jeu. Both share traits with the elusive Hollywood genre known as “screwball comedy”. There is a general ruckus of celebration…a confusion of who loves whom…indeed, about who should love whom…mixed emotions…missed connections…conflicted hearts.
There are the base buffoons who live out our easiest desires. They just chase. So what if they lose? Well, it makes a big difference…from the bathos of Schumacher to the stoogery of Eugène.
But these references aside, it is the others who make us believe. The hesitating class of Ingrid Bergman and Nora Gregor…these parallel characters. And the luckless chaps who may or may not prevail in the end…Mel Ferrer and, indeed, Jean Renoir himself as Octave in La Règle du jeu.
It must have been a revelation for Godard to see this film. It was the French film industry asserting itself. And yet, it was the spectacle against which Debord would rail a mere 11 years later.
Even so, Elèna et les hommes is (at the very least) a beautiful echo of the French film tradition which preceded it. In a sense, it was Jean Renoir retelling that old story of La Règle du jeu one more time.
Life is a strange party in which Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre is liable to be conjured from the ghostly ivories of a player piano at any moment.
12 seconds. 5 minutes. 2 fortnights. a jiffy.
Really, I shouldn’t have to comment on the commodification of time. Is that not the essence of capitalism?
Into your busy lives cram another blog post. Another sloppy film review. A film.
A more professional critic would start by alluding to the copious literature which points to this film as Godard’s return to form.
A strange phrase. Which form?
Because really, for me, Godard begins here. The known Godard is Parisian Godard…la nouvelle vague.
The unknown Godard is everything else. As an American consumer it is rather inconvenient to obtain all but the classic films from our auteur. After Week-end (1967), the DVDs become exponentially harder to come by.
But, as a rule, I digress. Liberally. Often. Without fail.
This, then, would seem to be Godard emerging from the black forest of political filmmaking and ethical soul-searching to find the inklings of his mature style.
It is not an original thought. The English-language biographies cover this thoroughly. The device in question is (for lack of a more exact term) slow-motion.
It is the playful wonder of a man who still has the curiosity of a boy.
Technology changing. New idiosyncrasies to each bit of gear on the market.
It is the same now. Stash your camera on the top shelf and soon you will not know how to make films.
Your equipment will be obsolete and your knowledge outdated.
But that is all tertiary (tertiary?) in importance.
To our film.
We have characters; plot. A walk in the wilderness and Godard (with the indispensable Anne-Marie Miéville) returned to a somewhat recognizable form. As always, however, the form is highly subverted. One might even say perverted in this particular instance. It is a strange beauty. Incomparable. A triumph. A mere glimpse of things to come.
Always playing on archetypes, Godard casts singer Jacques Dutronc as Paul Godard. There can be little doubt that this character is meant to represent the filmmaker himself. Every marker is there: the ubiquitous cigar, the glasses, the mannerisms, the disheveled college professor sartorial ensembles…
The stunning Nathalie Baye plays Denise Rimbaud. Here is where the ark types. Arc-en-ciel. A panorama of wispy clouds. Yes, Arthur is never far…nor Baudelaire…nor Sartre and Duras. And Marguerite? Faust. Your soul for a job.
Yes, prostitution returns. The grand Godardian theme. Isabelle Huppert plays the role of the sex worker Isabelle Rivière.
The setting? Switzerland. We see the signs at the station. Nyon. Not Lyon, Nyon. It brings us back to that area we visited in Godard’s second film (though it was banned and thus delayed in release) Le Petit Soldat.
The famous scenes are of Baye on a bicycle–of Dutronc in a classroom before a chalkboard reading “Cain et Abel” and “Film et video.”
Yes, the sexual aspects of this film are heavy. This perhaps proves that Godard’s return to mainstream filmmaking was not the end of his rebellious period.
Though there is a plot and there are discernible characters, it is not always clear what is going on. What cannot be disputed is the sadness which Godard brings to light with yet another exposé of whoring. Likewise, it might be gathered that the filmmaker is commenting on the perception of rural Switzerland as pristine and bucolic. The perverse element of our film echoes previous erotic episodes of Pasolini and Buñuel.
Finally, one can’t help wondering whether the film in question had a formative effect on the Iranian director Kiarostami. As in the later Taste of Cherry, Godard has one last trick up his sleeve to end out Sauve qui peut (la vie).
Indeed, Jean-Luc Godard was starting to find his magic touch again with this film…and its traces attested to a talent which was richer and better than ever before.