May 10, 2009

2 or 3 things

Last night I rewatched 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her. I hadn't remembered much about it except some of the city images. For whatever reason, I had expected to connect with it much more strongly this time around -- being immersed in later-Godard and reading about his career, the film seemed representative of his shift into critical political filmmaking, along the lines of La Chinoise. Having read about the film before going into it -- talk of coffee cups and capitalist alienation -- I was prepared for some serious and awesome JLG.

How strange Godard's early films appear to me now! JLG's relentless inquiries into the nature of language, of society -- in particular capitalism, the media, and Vietnam -- and of cinema are gateways into reconciling the human spirit. JLG is not searching for answers to the questions he raises, he is searching for the emotions necessary to deal with those answers. He already knows the answers; he has yet to learn to accept them.

It is in his later work that he discovers the necessary emotions. Coming back to 2 or 3 Things after exploring his 80s work, even films as supposedly minor as Detective and Keep Your Right Up, I find that JLG's concerns in 2 or 3 Things are... trivial? consumed? His later work consumes his early work. Everything he muses about in 2 or 3 Things is no longer important. He has answered his questions. He has moved on. He has moved me on.

This I did not expect; I am falling in love with his later work, and his early work is slowly disappearing in its shadow. 2 or 3 Things left as little impact on me this viewing as it did the first. The first time I did not understand it; this time I understand it all too well.

A few more early rewatches to come. I am looking forward to them. Whatever I say, 2 or 3 Things is still a great viewing, and has given me some perspective, both on JLG and myself. I will try to limit my personal ramblings when I get to those other rewatches.

And I am now inspired to make a film about the sky.

[JLG Carnival]

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