Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)

A film worth talking about

Jean-Luc Godard has always broken the rules, and in Goodbye to Language's most bravura sequences he breaks 3D. In a pair of scenes that have already justified much acclaim - and a reported mid-film round of applause at Cannes - he ignores the fundamental idea that stereoscopy uses two offset images to create the illusion of one, layered image for the viewer. This is partially achieved by having two cameras, side by side, shoot the same scene. Godard instead chooses to separate the cameras and have them follow two different actions. The audience then sees to different images, separate yet connected. Cover one eye, and you'll see one 2D image. Cover the other eye, you'll see another image. Both eyes open, you see both simultaneously. It's a mind-bending sight - an imaginative way of using aesthetics to tell a story, especially in a film as obsessed with duality and (a)symmetry as this one is. If you want to understand how 3D works, these two shots are an enlightening crash course.