CANNES 2014: ADIEU AU LANGAGE BY JEAN-LUC GODARD

This entry was posted on May 22nd, 2014

By Mónica Delgado

The title says it all. In Adieu au Langage Jean-Luc Godard returns to the intentions of his episode for 3X3, but now reaffirming his least solemn side and carrying his reading about the perception of the technological, the impossibility of thought in any sort of «shareable» language  to its most sarcastic possibilities, leaving space for an scatological mockery in between philosophical dwellings by Levinas, Husserl or Merleau – Ponty.

The idea of a narrative plot in Adieu au Langage is completely dismantled, and broke down in fragments, in the typical collage that the filmmaker has us used to with his recent films. In this new film of seventy minutes, what we have is a reflection between the rational and the sensorial, that in some way deconstructs the objective of film language itself, in its repetition and expiration. For example, in Adieu au Langage, the idea of a cast as such doesn’t exist, there is only paradigms of archetypes of one of all (all men are equal while defecating, says one of those characters while excreting, in front of a naked woman) a proposal that in this afternoon turned to be paradoxical in front of the group of actors and actresses that built the «cast» in today’s projection,  before a crowded theater as if we were seeing a blockbuster. An extra cinematographic detail that completes that everything in Godard inside and out the screen, in his mockery of congruence, like the letter which was projected to the end of the show, were he apologized to the festival president (a diplomatic detail, when he should’ve adressed his letter to everyone that missed him that afternoon).

Returning to the film, Adieu au Langage uses the 3D artifice in confrontation of that worn out 2D, but necessary and inevitable, as in that scene of unfolding of a character that creates a ghost in third dimension, from the juxtaposition and surprise, creating an effect without precedents under that aesthetic. Because in some way, what Godard ends up proposing is that with 3D there is still a chance, like that talking dog that talks/thinks, an unseen being in his filmography, that pictures that bursts of illusion that still stays since the invention of cinema, that at the end of the day seems very much alive.

As he points out in several film essays, Godard again takes part of this concept that tells that men configures its way of understanding the world through signs and words that give meaning to it and names even some level on technological rarefying. Confronting that, the dog appears as a figure of that appropriation (the example of the dog who speaks express it in a perfect way in its humanization and adoption of the language which can’t be discarded, at the end of the day). Our humanity doesn’t allow us to reach the levels of perceiving the sensorial as a dog does, and cinema is also incapable of expressing not smell or taste, but following the rhythm of its «metaphor» , in the dispositive of cinema, even in 3D, can’t grasp that that is beyond its measure.

Adieu au Langage completes the disquisitions surrounding the dispositive and philosophical propositions made sine Filme Socialisme, and beyond its disquisitions, keeps a poor hope for the future of cinema, presenting Godard under a more playful, less solemn tone, like he wanted to recover some facet lost in time.

Official Competition
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Script: Jean-Luc Godard
Cinematography: Fabrice Aragno
Cast: Héloise Godet, Zoe Bruneau, Kamel Abdelli, Richard Chevalier, Jessica Erickson, Alexandre Païta, Dimitri Basil
Wild Bunch
2014
70 min.
Switzerland