-･- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -･- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.
In the middle of this week, I made an unscheduled stop at a movie theater and saw “Film Socialisme (ゴダール・ソシアリスム)” directed by Jean-Luc Godard (1930 - ), the masterly French-Swiss film director. The movie will be off the screen soon.
According to the film's official website, the film consists of three parts: (1) “Des choses comme ça (Such things)” is set on a cruise ship carrying a variety of characters (a photographer and his girlfriend, an aging war criminal and his granddaughter, a former United Nations official, a Russian detective, and so on), (2) “Notre Europe (Our Europe)” is a story of a family demanding serious answers on the themes of liberty, equality, and fraternity, and (3) “Nos humanités (Our humanities)" visits six places: Egypt, Palestine, Odessa, Hellas, Naples, and Barcelona (the places match ports where the cruise ship visits).
I didn’t know much about the movie, but I found a time and dashed into the theater because I realized it would be a priceless opportunity to see the 80-year-old director’s feature-length movie in the first run. I’d seen his several works only by DVD and video.
Then the tough movie shook me up because I felt as if my appreciation of the movie was tested. It was a flood of patched images like collage, fuzzy video footages (it was shot using HD video), multi-lingual conversations, numerous citations from other movies, philosophical dialogues, and embedded or non-existent stories. A complete picture of the story was never shown. All I could get were fragments.
While I reconstructed deconstructionalistic (脱構築的) images and dialogues so that ordinary people, like me, could understand it, I also had to use what little knowledge of the modern history and geography of Europe, Middle East, and North Africa for the reconstruction. Additionally, to understand each character's background I needed to distinguish languages: French, German, Russian, English, and Arabic.
So, when it finished, I got pretty tired.
I should have prepared.
In a sense, this one-minute preview (a video on fast-forward of the movie!!) might be more enjoyable than the movie itself because without puzzling about the stories and theme, we can simply enjoy images.
I recommend this video without hesitation.
I think that a movie is inevitably viewed through the filter of anyone who watches and that any movie is open to interpretation. So, I pick up “Quo Vadis, Europe? (Where’s Europe going)”as its symbolic message. The director might ask the question that encourages viewers to think about it through money, capitalism, democracy, information, cradles of civilization, wars, civil conflicts, and massacres that the movie describes. His effort appears to succeed.