Imaginitive use of contextless footage is used to create new meaning and a powerful set of messages. Although, the subtitles available on MUBI didn't work for much of the film leaving some sections a little dense; even in these moments however, the spectacle was to be enjoyed.
Given Godard’s selective approach to subtitling, it’s probably best to go with the images alone.The Image Book covers several bases including well worn themes about Hell being lives of suffering, struggle and endless, ongoing war.There’s capitalism vs socialism with one good line about why Godard empathises with the poor and a shaggy dog story about the oil-free area of Dofra. It all hangs together surprisingly well.
Very interesting and, of course, very well-made. The second part was stronger I thought. I just tend to feel that essay films like this work better when they're shorter rather than feature-length. You clearly have to re-watch if you want to delve into its meanings. Subtitling was atrocious - a *lot* left out...
Godard relies too much on intertextuality, so the meaning is often lost if you do not recognize the reference. The 1st half of this film is some sort of vague statement on the inherent violence of humanity, whereas the second one focuses on the biased representation the West has of the Arabic world - and the political consequences of that bias. There are some brief, alluring reflections on art though.
Godard playing at being DJ Shadow sounds a lot more interesting than it actually is. Clips chosen are obvious (yes, we know the FNW loved Nicholas Ray) and the audio verfremdungseffekten are more irritating than mind-blowing, preventing the degree of hypnotic immersion that would justify the project. I would like to see it done over though.
“Only a fragment carries the mark of authenticity.” A quote by Brecht...”Representation always does violence to that which is represented.” History, truth, illusions, fairytales, dreams of power and the desire of the poor. Memory is a distorted image and art begins only when the events are over. Revolution and art are always inevitable and necessary.