On what I think of as late, late Godard

More or less copy/pasted from a Criterion Channel film group, referencing his film output of roughly the last 20 years:

I grew impatient with Godard years ago, partly due to the chauvinism and kind of machismo that I think undergirds a lot of his films. And I just got tired of the genuflection at the alter of all things French New Wave…with him at the pinnacle, undeserved, as that place–inasmuch as we care about hierarchies–is held by Agnes Varda, at least as its greatest pioneer, if not continual practitioner.

I digress.

That said, despite what I still perceive as an inherent assertion of his self in his late late films, I find them rewarding and worth engaging. I really appreciate the formal experimentation, the discontinuities, the cuts and collisions and absences of sound/image that actually feel initially like mistakes–but they are not. I think there’s something crucial and important being investigated here, even if the ego of the director still feels present to me. 

Further, I see a lot of these juxtapositions as utterly logical and consistent in a radically discontinuous, online/digitally-informed culture, with “smart” phones, wherein one can lurch instantaneously from a YouTube video of a Bach minuet to a LOLcat. None of us even question these wild discontinuities in our perceiving lives, and yet, when purposely mimicked on screen by the director, its power to startle and disquiet and disturb is imbued with its own true nature: radical, abrupt discontinuity. We’ve become inured to the truth of our own jarring condition, hurtling from one discontinuous moment to the next. 

There’s value in seeing this represented and explored, and these are worth watching.

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