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film

Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language

Jean-Luc Godard, Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language), 2014, 3-D digital video, color, sound, 70 minutes. Josette (Héloise Godet).

AND SO, ADIEU. Jean-Luc Godard’s leave-taking from cinema and life began many years ago, his valedictory impulse intensifying in the trilogy of war requiems he initiated at the turn of the century. The mournful Godard found the end in our beginning, proclaiming the fin du monde as the new millennium commenced. In Éloge de l’amour (In Praise of Love, 2001), its French title announcing its lamenting mode, Godard’s sense of political futility and aesthetic impasse seemed almost suicidal, so insistently repeated was the film’s final refrain: “Maybe nothing was said.” Notre musique (2004) was set in the aftermath of the Bosnian War, a conflict that Godard had despairingly portrayed in For Ever Mozart (1996) as a reversion to the nationalistic fascism and ethnic cleansing of World War II. Film socialisme (2010) continued Musique’s concern with the annihilation of European culture, its

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