Oct 30, 2014

SO GLAD I DON'T HAVE TO SEE: Goodbye to Language*

"The dog is by far the most prominent performer in the film, in terms of both his screen time and his centrality to the film’s compositional schema and great idea. He does simple canine things—he frolics by the edge of a pond, swims in the currents of a stream, rummages among leaves, rolls in snow, looks into the camera. And Godard’s camera follows him, impulsively, alertly, tenderly, as if seeking to film with a gaze akin to Roxy’s—not blank or uncomprehending but endowed with a boundless, self-subordinating sympathy... It’s as if Roxy were the agent of reconciliation—not of one merely lover to another but of Godard to the present day, to the rising generation. Near the movie’s end, in a scene (one of many shot in Godard’s home) that features Godard’s voice and a woman’s voice that I think I recognize as Miéville’s, there is a living room in which two empty chairs are placed in front of a TV showing only video snow, and Roxy is there. Even when there’s no movie showing and no one there to watch it, Roxy is there, the survivor of art and artists, their silent witness and the secret bearer of their best aspirations. It’s one of the great and piercing funerary moments in Godard’s films, an utterly unironic, tender testament of love." — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
* An occasional column devoted to those books, movies and art works which would, on balance, better serve us by remaining unread, unwatched and unseen, based on the principle that our reactions to art in absentia can be every bit as rich and meaningful as to works demanding our urgent personal attention. Previous entries hereherehere, here, and here.


  1. From Brody's description, it's already more accessible than Godard's KING LEAR.

  2. Godard is now the Rudd Weatherwax of the art film cosmos.