Mini-Review: Film Socialisme
This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!
It would be far too facile for me to sit here and offer you some kind of borderline sophism for or against Godard’s Film Socialisme. What the film seems to be is a tangential expounding of some concepts set forth in In Praise of Love with fewer constraints imposed by anything resembling a traditional plot. Perhaps what is most bothersome about the film, that I can quantify definitively as bothersome, is that the purposeful introduction of technical gaffes such as distorted audio, pseudo-poetic fragmented subtitles, pixelated video, in essence clouds an already opaque concept. However, the opacity is not the frustration but rather the willful misdirection.
Godard clearly has something (many things) he wants to say with the film and because I know some French and I was aware I’d need to pick up pieces as I went I got some of it, however, the method of telling was always likely to be indirect, therefore, his not-so-subliminal commentary on modern filmmaking technology muddles much more important sociological, historical and political points he’s making. What the film struck me as was a free form essay wherein the printer didn’t get everything on the page. However, maybe it’s due to these very frustrations that one might go back to it. To be certain I wouldn’t have mulled the film over as much if it were not for these obstacles. Non-traditional structure and technique are certainly not that new, neither are the ideas put forth but the way they’re put forth are a bit unique. While imperfect maybe they were most apropos.
After viewing the film it was next to impossible to score it. Prior to writing this I was prepared to give it a failing grade, however, it is its very lack of convention combined with its lack of a traditional storyline that makes it more compelling and more worthy of revisiting than the aforementioned In Praise of Love.