Memory Lame

Godard meanders aimlessly In Praise of Love

The French word for turkey is dindon, so French New Wave auteur Jean-Luc Godard's latest movie is basically fricasé du dindon. Snoots will no doubt rally to its cause, but rarely does an established filmmaker so ardently waste viewers' time. It's mostly to do with memory, presumably his own spluttering sense thereof. As uppity, 30-ish know-it-all Edgar (Bruno Putzulu) struggles to create a cinematic magnum opus about the stages of a love affair, Godard grants himself license--in poorly shot black-and-white film and poorly shot digital video--to explore at length the unrelated notion that memory may be of little use in reclaiming one's life. Given the, um, director's four decades of cinematic and sociological experimentation--from Breathless and Weekend to King Lear and For Ever Mozart--it's shocking that this thing isn't even artsy. Barring a few brief moments of instantaneously fizzling inspiration, it's merely fartsy.
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