July 17, 2003

Godard Anyone?

Last night, Cinecultist dragged her tired toochas uptown for one of the Alain Delon (aka the Delon-athon) screenings at Walter Reade, Jean-Luc Godard's Nouvelle Vague. Just as we suspected, a few of our favorite pretentious film types were in the house for this 1990 feature considered one of the best unreleased gems of the '90s according to Film Comment.

People who go to see Godard films, in our experience, tend to fall into two camps: those who earnestly LOVE Godard and those who are so over Godard yet attend nonetheless. Our seat mates included one from each side of the fence, A who likes to sit deadcenter three or four rows back from the screen, so at to be close enough to practically lick the screen and O, who declared he hated it as soon as the final credit flashed across the screen.

Where exactly does CC fall on this continuum? Somewhere probably in the middle, able to appreciate JLG's deft editing of sound and image together into something entirely unique yet still walking out of the theater knowing we didn't really "get" it. Whatever it might be. Godard lives for quotation, and Nouvelle Vague is positively peppered in allusion, although there's more of a sense that a line or shot might be an allusion without really being able to pin down its source. Like reading certain modernist writers such as Borges, Godard makes you realize how little you know and how much you have to learn. As a practice, CC tends to like it when he uses this power to make us laugh (like in A Woman Is A Woman) rather than feel guilty for our decadent bourgeois ways (as in any of his Maoist pictures).

Also, in case you were wondering, old Alain Delon, age 55 in this with Harrison Ford-esque folds in his face but lithe enough for shorts on the yacht -- still totally hot.

Posted by karen at July 17, 2003 4:29 PM