Thursday, November 08, 2012

Of What Do You Dream?

Here are four more images, people and texts touched upon in Jean-Luc Godard's conciousness-raising film Notre Musique (2004). The Cuban poet-writer José Lezama Lima (1910-1976), author of Paradiso (1966) and "Muerte de Narciso" / "Death of Narcissus" (1937).

Notre Musique / Our Music is divided into three simple divisions: Hell (War), Purgatory (Life Between Wars) and Paradise.

The Roman God Janus looks both to the past and the future. Janus Films preserves past movies for the future, often coordinating efforts with the Criterion Collection. In Notre Musique, Godard speaks of camera images and reverse images, angles and reverse angles. It's also noted that in a lexicon prior to ancient Sumer, the word for After = Past and for Before = Future. In a dreamy observation of social reconcilation/paradise, “It is like an image but a distant one. It must be far from here or later on."

The ghost of André Malraux weaves its way more than once through Notre Musique. From the Malraux book  La Tete d'obsidienne  / Picasso's Mask (1974) comes Picasso's story of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes. When Bernadette was asked by Catholic authorities how the image of Mary appeared to her, she came to an icon of Our Lady of Cambrai.

As artists, Picasso (and Malraux) interpreted Bernadette's choice as affirmation of something transcendent -- the evident presence of divine energy. The iconic image of Notre Dame de Grâce / Our Lady of Cambrai counters the hellish energies of war, providing a real alternative to violence in the way of love and compassion. For cigar-smoking free thinker Godard, that's a sweet dream, indeed.  

Today's Rune: Signals.    

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I always liked Janus. he should be the god of politics.