Monday, November 15, 2010

Tout Va Bien/Letter to Jane

Letter to Jane is the last collaboration between Godard and Gorin. It's content consists of the two analyzing a  single image of Fonda in Vietnam.

J Hoberman says of the film, "Narrated by the filmmakers and condescendingly addressed to "you, Jane," Letter poses the same question as Tout Va Bien, namely the role of the movie star in the revolutionary struggle.  Alternately brilliant and obtuse, the film's disingenuous analysis assumes Fonda as author of the photograph - responsible for everything from the camera angle to the caption that erroneously describes her as asking a question." (Criterion)

While one could pose a Levinasian argument that to experience the radical alterity of the Other is to automatically be in a stance of asking a question (or at the very least waiting for an answer), what I think is truly interesting in this film is G & G's singular focus on one image and how they slowly inscribe upon it a meaning.  It is a unique experience to watch Godard derive meaning from a single image versus a series of them.

Video of Letter to Jane


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