Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Behind Every Word is Another Word

Still thinking about Jean-Luc Godard's Notre Musique (2004). The film, set in and around Sarajevo and Mostar less than a decade after the Bosnian War ended, embeds the equivalent of a blizzard of hyperlinks in many directions. There's enough to keep one making connections and musing for quite a little while.

Godard delves into numerous (somehow) interconnected topics and themes. These include war (Hell), with specific examples drawn from Homer and Euripides (the Trojan War), plus the American Civil War and just about anything you can imagine from the 20th century.

In one scene, Godard (as Godard) shows students in Sarajevo a projection of a photograph depicting urban ruins. He asks if anyone can identify the geographic or temporal location of this destruction. Some try. Stalingrad? Sarajevo? No, Godard says. Richmond, Virginia, 1865.

Godard is in a taxi cab, answering someone's question from offscreen: "Humane people don’t start revolutions. They start libraries." Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo (b. 1931), accompanying him, quips: ". . . and cemeteries." The source for this banter? A novel by Andre Malraux set during the Spanish Civil War, L'Espoir (aka Hope, The Hope, Man's Hope, Days of Hope, first published in 1937).

Godard: As our age has endless destructive force,
it . . . needs a revolution of a comparable creative force that reinforces memory, clarifies dreams and gives substance to images.

Which is exactly what Godard is hoping to underscore through the entirety of Notre Musique

Today's Rune: Fertility.


Adorably Dead said...

That Richmond pic is amazing. I didn't even think it would be in the USA. Guess that was the point. :p

Charles Gramlich said...

Urban ruins. In some places you would drive by and assume the human race is extinct, with nothing left behind but ruins.