JLG is interviewed about “Goodbye language”

“Goodbye Language” is a graciously sad and an exuberantly blissful farewell to the only noble tool human beings have to breach the distance between themselves: strangers, neighbors, acquaintances, friends, lovers and beloveds. Intelligent, scholarly language (Godard’s), the one that is sensitive to truth is the only tool, because collective beliefs create only megalomaniacal illusions and ultimately makes situations between people much worse – more militant and sacrificial, and also because symbiotic mutual identification between people, over-emphasizing unity while neglecting differences usually stimulates biting and aggressive dissimilarities.

Godard investigates the nature of physical space separating people by massive distances or flat surfaces inside the same room. It’s in this situations that 3D optical technology is especially of use, – to emphasize the distance between human souls which can be redeemed only through language (when it is used spiritually and not like slogans mobilizing humans to hate/fight one another).

In “Goodbye…” Godard liberates the cinematic medium from the constraints of “story” – representation of sense and meaning via plots inevitably awkwardly illustrating ideas and feelings through didactic parables about human behavior. Godard makes cinematic medium an interlocutor of the human mind, a frank friend of human being in the role of a viewer.

The film starts with a contrast between war-making represented through pernicious fragmentation of the world into pieces of matter (looking like a burning pieces of skin), and quickly shifts to the dog’s sad gaze – the dog personifies the soul of human flesh, like the donkey Balthazar in Bresson’s film – the human soul and for that matter the human flesh.

Language is a spiritual tool of the human souls. The dog in the film has a “human soul” but doesn’t have human language. For this reason the dog’s psychological situation is similar with that of an artist saying good bye to the worthiest and the most potent element of human life. The dog in the film is as gracefully melancholic as human “good bye” to language can be.

It is mesmerizing how Godard introduces to viewers the physical spaces of human life, which alienate us from one another even inside the same interior. He emphasizes how we are locked between flat surfaces closing the perspectives, or between perspectives making us to feel disoriented and lost, as if, hanging nowhere.

To find ourselves with others enduring together or without any connectedness amidst limitlessness and amidst endless limits of the physical space, which the protagonists permanently unconsciously internalize and transform into their impressions, feelings and ideas, is, according to the film, the ultimate ordeal of human life. Squeezed or banished between the crowns of the trees and earth, the crowns of the trees and skies, between the shores-lines and ships, between our perception and landscapes, between us and space under water, or between surface of the street asphalt covered with rain and drops of the sky and spots of the trees reflected in it, as if, this reflection deepens the space, and, finally, between our naked bodies, we learn how to live, to love and welcome our togetherness and separateness.

Godard’s film teaches us existence amidst our rushing and vanity, feverishness and greed, militancy and human blood again and again washed down in a standard bathtub of 21st century civilization.

JLG on the set of “Goodbye Language”.

“The law that denies its own violence, cheats. The law that denies what turns it into a state apparatus, cheats. The law which deems itself self-legitimizing, cheats twice.” Jean-Luc Godard, “Goodbye language”

Godard’s “Roxy Mieville” in the role of a dog in the foreground of the landscape and he, somehow, doesn’t seem reduced by it. He is kind of independent from it while being part of it and the perspective is independent also.

Children start to move into depth of space

Children are inside a deepening space, as if, they already don’t belong to their household anymore.

Godard positions the actors for a scene.