As the semester draws to a close, I am suddenly realizing just how much I have learned and experienced in this course. The late films I initially resisted are beginning to reveal themselves to my formerly stubborn tastes. If I can draw one lesson from Godard's cinema it would be: don't give in, believe in (without forgetting to occasionally query) the cinema and pursue your thoughts, ruminations, politics, theories, obsessions. Although Godard's films are packed to bursting point with theory and thought, what astounds me the most about them (in the best cases) is that despite th intellectual overload, they still produce an affect. I don't mean "affect" as in the classical Hollywood schema: losing one's self in the story and psychological motives of the protagonist. Rather I mean that these films have (for me at least) affected my notions of reality, truth, and beauty. Affect in the broad sense of the word. If Godard makes films that function as thoughts, they also function as feelings.
How else can I explain my emotions after seeing 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her? There is no shortage of theoretical/intellectual discourse, yet I am seeing and experiencing in a way that owes little to the written/spoken word by itself. Something else is produced: a burning need to look at the world, to question its presuppositions, to look at the world with a kino-eye; produced that a camera was shooting this object, yet forever removed from the reality/referent to which it owes its existence.
Godard's cinema makes me want make my own cinema on my own terms. I have learned that cinema begins and ends with looking and perhaps as Ranciere suggests, thought and gaze are not so removed from one and other as some might like to think.
I'd like to share this excerpt of a piece by Chris Marker I found on the website chrismarker.org (an excellent resource on the filmmaker/multimedia artist/host of other auxiliary identities.)
Although only an excerpt, the piece reminds me of Godard in Marker's rich reappropriation of a classic text (in this case Plato's "Allegory of The Cave.) to a new context. Though criminally short, this excerpt hints at something unbelievable interesting and originally was television series(!). If only Marker and Godard were given free reign to produce television.. but I suppose this explains Marker's attraction to the internet, with its potentially hyper-democratic access and endless memory ("I wonder how people remember things who don't film, don't photograph, don't tape". . .). A full description of the piece can be read here. Somehow even this brief excerpt seems a fitting send-off for us.
Anyway, it was an absolute pleasure sharing my Monday nights with all of you and I want to wish everyone a safe and relaxing break with their loved ones. Also for those of us who are currently furiously finishing up visual projects for the class, it would be great if we all posted these projects on here so we could watch each other's final work. I was thrilled at the breadth, scope and variety of subjects and style-the diversity and heterogeneity of which seem absolutely appropriate in the context of Godard.
Vivez votre vie!