Le Redoutable (Michel Hazanavicius, 2017)

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domino harvey
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Re: Le Redoutable (Michel Hazanavicius, 2017)

#51 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 15, 2018 1:01 pm

whaleallright wrote:this
Hazanavicius has the right to his tastes, but I get the vague sense that the film, or at least its admirers, are using the portrayal of Godard as a means of validating their dismissal of his body of post-1960s work.
is not the same as
the insistence that a fan of this film must align oneself against Godard's later period incorrect.
(emphasis mine)
I recognize that there's rhetorical value in lowering the target.
Well, what you said is: If you are a fan of this film, it is evidence of validating a lesser opinion of Godard's later work. So, if you want to base your defense on one word, consider that you didn't say "some" or even "most" admirers of this film, thus "must" is apt

I'm not sure why you are even going so hard on this, considering you haven't seen the movie and yet feel comfortable casting aspersions on it and its audience regardless

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Re: Le Redoutable (Michel Hazanavicius, 2017)

#52 Post by whaleallright » Tue May 15, 2018 6:54 pm

Not really going hard, just feel that you often offer uncharitable readings of other people's arguments here, and I got a little annoyed about it. I wasn't casting aspersions so much as drawing on some of the reviews (amateur and professional) I've read about the film. The guy/gal who posted above me clearly has some critical distance toward the film's understanding of Godard and his work, while still enjoying the film (perhaps with some irony in there), and you seem much the same, so I wouldn't presume anything of /all/ or even /most/ of its fans. But there does seem to be an element of philistinism in what the director has said about Godard, the view the film seems (emphasis on "seems," since I haven't seen it) to be taking of his work, and what at least some folks are drawing from it. (That kind of gives me the same vibe as that awful "eat your vegetables cinema" thinkpiece from a few years back, in which the author simply couldn't imagine anyone but pretentious phonies enjoying Hou Hsiao-Hsien or whatever.) That's all. /finis

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Re: Le Redoutable (Michel Hazanavicius, 2017)

#55 Post by Mungo » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:45 am

I'm completely with domino here - this was such a joy, which is especially impressive given that the main themes (the disintegration of a marriage, Godard's frantic and self-conflicted attempts to reinvent himself) could very easily have made a movie such as this humorless. Godard is a ridiculously self-centered prick here, the kind of guy who would and does pick such moments as cunnilingus or a screening of The Passion Of Joan Of Arc to have heart-to-hearts not because he has bad timing, but because he's totally unwilling to stop speaking, to stop expressing himself. Godard is ultimately too conflicted to effectively engage in the zeitgeist because he can't reconcile the idea of creation-by-committee with his own egotistical nature. The final image of Godard defeated and rendered silent by his own Dziga Vertov Committee is the perfect denouement to this story of Godard's contrariness causing self-destruction.

All this would be dull and perhaps even depressing if it were presented with total seriousness, but thankfully Hazanavicius side-steps the temptation to play the drama and especially Godard's egotism deadly straight and instead gives the audience lots to laugh at in the form of Godard's bluster juxtaposed with the ineffectiveness of his own actions (the numerous press conferences and university lectures that go wrong, Godard's failed attempt to sell La Chinoise to, uh, the Chinese, the endless and unresolved car ride argument), but in such a way that the movie never feels mean-spirited, even when engaging in subtle or not-so-subtle parody of Godard or his early movies. I especially appreciated the jabs at British Sounds late in the movie, though the absolute funniest part has to be the insane second lecture scene, where Godard takes the suggestion from his wife that he should be more assertive with university students far too far and goes on a pseudo pro-Palestinian tangent describing Jews as Nazis, Nazis as Jews, and yesterday's Jews today as yesterday's Nazis (today).

I liked this movie so much that it's almost a shame that it's so specific in its subject matter and humor, because I know several people who would appreciate the movie's aesthetic, message, and overall tone if they were only familiar with Godard or anything that he made. As it is, Le Redoutable will just have to be one of those great movies that one can only appreciate with a surplus of context.

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