Thursday, November 10, 2011

I've traveled 9,000 Kilometers to Give Tenderness to You

"Allow me to say, at the risk of appearing ridiculous, that a true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love." -Che Guevara

Morrey mentions Godard's usage of this quote in Le Gai Savoir, but what better film to exemplify that quote than Alphaville: A Strange Case of Lemmy Caution. We first watch Lemmy Caution (AKA Ivan Johnson) passby a sign when entering Alphaville in his Ford Galaxy:
Silence. Logic.
Security. Prudence.
Alphaville is a place where words such as redbreast, weeping, autumn light and tenderness do not exist. Controlled by the computer Alpha 60, Alphaville's creator Professor von Braun (who with his glasses resembles Godard) bans anything that is not logical.  It is also a place where people who behave "illogically" are executed. What's illogical?: the word why; poetry; love; light. 

"Got a light?" asked Natasha "Yes, I've traveled 9,000 kilometeres to give it to you" replied Lemmy. That's how our main characters meet. That's how Natasha is guided towards the light, towards poetry and towards love which therefore leads to her freedom.

Natasha reads a book of poems, Capital of Sorrow by Paul Éluard which was given to Lemmy by a fellow secret agent (whose last words were: "...Alpha 60...make self destruct...Tenderness...Save those who weep.")   Reminiscing to the exact last words said by an illogical at his execution, Nastasha reads from this book "We must advance to live. Aim straight ahead toward those you love. I went toward you, endlessly towards the light."

Throughout the film we watch Nastasha slowly misbehaving: she weeps when Lemmy gets roughed up by Professor van Braun's security, she smiles when she looks at Lemmy, and she learns (herself) how to say "Je vous amie" to the man she loves, Lemmy Caution.



No comments:

Post a Comment