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Film socialisme2010

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  • 3.5
Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard returns to the screen with FILM SOCIALISME, a magisterial essay on the decline of European civilization. As a garish cruise ship travels the Mediterranean (with Patti Smith among its guests), Godard embarks on a state of the E.U. address in a vibrant collage of philosophical quotes, historical revelations and pure cinematographic beauty. Presented with the intentionally vague "Navajo English" subtitles that accompanied the film's Cannes premiere (and subsequent screenings) as Godard insisted.

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Official selection of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

4 members like this review

Honestly, I don't even try to understand all of Godard's political ramblings. Socialism, Communism, Maoism, ism, ism, ism. I just love the images, the color, the composition, the jagged flow that comes together so perfectly.We could praise or criticize Godard endlessly; I am just glad he's still around, making pictures.

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Member Reviews (13)

top reviewer

Honestly, I don't even try to understand all of Godard's political ramblings. Socialism, Communism, Maoism, ism, ism, ism. I just love the images, the color, the composition, the jagged flow that comes together so perfectly.We could praise or criticize Godard endlessly; I am just glad he's still around, making pictures.

4 members like this review
top reviewer

Simply beautiful film, deliberately unintelligible except to the code talkers capable of translating. Godard shows us that we are at war, not with each other, not with the government but with ourselves, to whom we have ceded all power, will and purpose. The result is confusion, chaos, distortion and detatchment. The question posed is whether European society can survive this invisible and devastating plague which renders its very existence completely barren.

Fluency in French helps but the most important ideas set forth are noted by the subtitles. It's a puzzle worth pondering and a masterpiece of cinema...even if it's not readily apparent on first glance.

3 members like this review
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Godard turns film into poetry again and again, etc.

1 member likes this review
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this one definitely requires the correct mindset. i don't think i've found it yet. this strikes me as a bit pretentious even for godard, whose work i generally favor. disappointing, but i'll try again.

1 member likes this review


1 member likes this review

ahhhh....hour and a half ?? could have said it in 20 mins..

1 member likes this review
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Godard is brilliant

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Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme (2010) is an utterly brilliant, and very complex instance of Cinematic Art.

This film has received decidedly mixed reviews, with some liking the film very much, while others seemed to dislike it equally much. However, a common ground that I found between both poles of criticism is the erroneous assumption that this film was created with the intention that it be, or at some level, understandable to the viewer. I would wholeheartedly disagree with that assumption. Godard here not only delivered a film that is simply devoid of "meaning", as this term is usually understood, he deliberately set out, and quite convincingly succeeded, in my opinion, to create a film that systematically destroys "meaning" altogether. This film then can be interpreted as a calculated, systematic, very thoughtful attack on "meaning", not only in terms of cinema being an effective vehicle for "meaning", but also in terms of destroying the human illusion that anything at all in reality has any sort of "meaning" whatsoever, outside the puny, and ultimately arbitrary attempts of countless generations of human beings to prove otherwise.

This can perhaps be best understood in terms of a theme present in this film that is prominent in other Godard films as well, such as Tout va bien (1972), the total inadequacy of language as a means of structuring and manipulating reality, and as a medium for effective human interaction. This theme of linguistic inadequacy is blatantly expressed in the title of a more recent cinematic foray by Godard, Goodbye To Language (2014).

In this film, Godard quite rightly recognizes that language is far more than the noises that are emitted from the human oral cavity, or the markings that humans leave behind on pieces of paper. Language is the underlying mechanism upon which the whole history of human civilization has constructed not only its ultimately arbitrary physical artifacts, but has also created all the ultimately arbitrary opinions, attitudes, belief systems, political doctrines, and scientific theories that populate the interaction of all humans beings. This film's outrageous, yet admirable juxtapositionings of completely antithetical manifestations of language, not only in terms of literal linguistic expressions, but in terms of the cultural, societal manifestations of language in terms of physical artifacts, and social belief systems quite effectively reveals the ultimate arbitrariness of language in all of its manifestations. The very radical editing in this film reinforces, even often creates these outrageous antithetic juxtapositioning of imagery, both visual and auditory imagery.

A mere perusal of the Wikipedia page for "socialism" reveals Godard' s utter contempt for language by choosing this word, this concept as the title for this film, for Wiki clearly states, and supports with copious citations, that there are so many different varieties of social and political doctrines which are subsumed under the banner of "socialism", as to make the very term itself almost barren of effective, discriminatory "meaning" altogether.

Yet another very interesting observation about "socialism" that this Wiki article makes is that, in varying degrees, all varieties of "socialism" have conceptual associations with the social and political doctrines of "anarchism". This historical association between "socialism" and "anarchism" is perhaps another reason why Godard might have chosen "socialism" as the title for this film. This is why perhaps "anarchy" is the concept that renders this film most understandable, for Godard's deliberately contradictory, conflicting portrayal of civilization in this film is intended to create "anarchy" in the viewer himself, a devastation of all the language based opinions, attitudes, and belief systems that deceptively comfort the viewer in his status quo acceptance of reality as society has ingrained him to accept . For it is only after the inner "anarchy" of destroying one's ultimately arbitrary preconceptions about reality that the human spirit is finally set free in its boundless flight to true creativity, to formulating ever more effective, yet still ultimately arbitrary, means of coping with its physical environment, and with coping with the much precarious environment of Self and Other.

20 Stars !!!

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top reviewer

Morbid, gruesome, hideous, macabre, monstrous, frightful, pahological, infected, diseaed, under conditions of natual pulchritude, artistry, and refinement. Clever.

I confess that I missed maybe 20 minutes of this film while I fell into the slumber it induced. I will say of what I saw that it seemed highly improvised, visually adroit at moments, and, to my mind, largely impenetrable though not unpleasant. And, of course, any film with Patti Smith cannot be all bad and she provided a very nice musical interlude.

Not a good film. But it led to "Goodbye to Language," which is a superb film.

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