Civilization of Pretentious and Megalomaniacal Posturing Through the Dynamism of Architectural Art


The first part of the film represents a luxurious liner full of not only well dressed and confident people of European background, but also Honorable guests from some other countries. The goal of the luxurious ship’s trip – not without humor is characterized by Godard as a trip to the future of humankind. Amazing and a paradoxical shot in front of us represents Godard’s comment about the passengers’ life style vis-à-vis the world.

Let’s concentrate on the bended, deformed, squeezed, almost broken and yet pompously deluxe and almost musically ornate lives of the people amidst the interior design of the ship.

The luxury of comforts which the passengers of the ship enjoy is emphasized by the sharp perspective from the upper position of the viewing directed down. It is, as if, the people belonging to the top layer of society sometimes are sliding down to distract and refresh themselves from being on top of the social configuration.

The stress of the circular movement of the stairs becomes the punctum of the shot. People live between up and down – from up down and back. The logic of architectural design sometimes moves the top people down from their posture of being on the top to the most relaxed condition of idle consuming and being entertained by the kitsch. But the static strain of the movement of the staircase reflects the later change of climbing back up from the bottom. The demanding pressure of the staircase reminds the torturing reality of human history. Today’s movement from the bottom up has become more of a holiday, but the boredom of fakery of entertainment and consumerism puts people in a position of compulsive and perverted grabbers of junk images and technical toys. The stress of the twisted railings is not referring to the physical strain of those who are climbing up, but to the moral burden (societal obligation) which today’s career-makers take upon themselves – the top of society keeps the bottom happy by providing it with satisfaction of observing how the top moving around. In other words, the very contrast between up and down is not that the top is being ahead and above, but that it’s making the effort of demonstrating to the inhabitants of the bottom – the “service“ people, that the top takes them seriously, with respect.

Do we see in Godard’s shot, that human beings are moving on ship to or into the future? It doesn’t look like it. Rather, it is a ship moving god knows where and taking humans with itself.