News from the Locarno Festival

Looking at the Invisible

Looking at the Invisible



Forgetting language might well be the best way to approach the facetiously entitled Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language). Let us discharge the words that muddle and channel our thoughts, and make ourselves as blank a slate as possible to receive Jean-Luc Godard’s uncomfortable and precious gift for the mind and the senses. A contradiction quickly becomes visible: this goodbye feels very much like an invitation. Is it a broken and heartbreaking painting of disenchanted lovers, swaying between ennui and violence? An essay on life’s illusions, great and small? A firework of an essay, then!

The spectacular, pioneering 3D effects composed by cinematographer Fabrice Aragno make Adieu au langage a climax of a theatrical experience. And Godard’s symphony of ruptures ensures our full, continuous attention to its playful variations. Total darkness gives way to saturated colors, lyrical tunes keep stumbling on a scratch of the record, couples deny each other a lasting tender touch or a shared meal. And as far as the sense of smell is concerned, Godard’s dog Roxy is the only actor in full command of his lines! We are reminded that man shouldn’t have ventured so far out of the woods where, like a pen without ink, he finds himself unable to write his own (hi)story.

Aurélie Godet
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