Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The confusing thing about this film is that I have almost nothing to say about it. When it was over I thought, "what a great film, but I have almost nothing to say about it." I think I need to pay more attention to it, and will in a future viewing. I got so caught up in the characters and their story that I forgot to pay attention to what Godard might have been trying to say with the film.

I can see that Godard was making some statements about capitalism and the state of the world (among other typical Godard subjects) through the character of Paul, but i'm not sure how seriously I should really take him.

Paul, while a very enjoyable character, struck me as obnoxious, childlike, and a big fan of waxing intellectual (especially to impress the girls). He seemed to channel a lot of Godard's thoughts and feelings, yet was sort of a caricature of a very obnoxious type of young know-it-all man. I am not a fan of this type of person, yet as an early 20's college film student I sometimes (often) lapse (lunge) into this category, which made him even more obnoxious to me, probably because he hit home. Character defects aside, I am puzzled as to what Godard was trying to do with Paul.

Was he,

A.) Godard's voice
B.) Godard's Ego Ideal?
C.) The aforementioned caricature, to be used to mock Paul's type.

Now, I'll go ahead and say it could be any or all three. Maybe the answer is obvious and I just missed it (totally possible). Anyway,

A.) Very likely, although it could be combined with C to make D: Godard's original character intented to be funny and charming, while at the same time stating and demonstrating some of Godard's own thoughts and feelings.

B.) The character was most definitely, as mentioned just above, funny and charming, even if he was often immature and difficult. Could Godard have created this faux-intellectual, quirky and clever character in an effort to live through him? I'm not a fan of the idea of an "Ego Ideal" character that writers create in an attempt to live through them. It seems that any good writer would be aware of such a ridiculous attempt by the unconscious to live a more ideal life through a character. I think that Godard was such a writer, and would create a character because he was an artist with something to say, and not because the pathetic unhappy child inside of him wanted to be cooler and get chicks. So, B is out.

C. Also very likely.

I've forgotten where I wanted to go with this A B C business, but I believe that D (combination of A and C) was the right option.

Ah yes, it was to decide how seriously I should take the character of Paul, and in an attempt to figure out what Godard's message was, figure out if Paul was the conveyer of said message.
I think that there is some weight to a lot of what Paul both preached and embodied, and there is most likely a lot of Godard in him. Whether or not i'll ever know for sure if Godard created him purposefully, or if some of Godard's ego slipped through in an attempt at self-gratification, is yet to be determined. It seems unlikely that an artist of Godard's caliber would make such a naive mistake.

So I guess I didn't have much to say about the film as a whole, but a lot about Paul.

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