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The French 'Language' in 3D: Nouvelle Vague Legend Godard Takes on Another Dimension

Jean Luc Godard on set adieuLet me make this clear: Jean-Luc Godard is my favorite director of all time. There is no close second. So, the prospect of him shooting in 3D immediately altered and matured my view on 3D filmmaking, because, after all, Godard can do no wrong — even when he does. His latest film Adieu Au Langage (Farewell to Language) was shot in 3D, but perhaps not for the reasons you’d think — not because it’s attractive and popular and cool looking. For Godard, the draw came from it being new enough that it “doesn’t have any rules yet.”

Fandor caught up with Godard on the set of Adieu Au Langage as well as actor Daniel Ludwig who describes his character simply as “a man who’s angry at his wife because she’s met another man on a park bench.” The simplicity of Godard’s films and concepts often are a clever ruse to confound viewers later. Ludwig says:

Godard’s screenplay leaves all sorts of other questions open as well. Alongside Sibylline texts and the master’s own handmade collages and images, the screenplay is wildly, chaotically, wonderfully suggestive, an artwork.

So, does the fact that Godard’s moving into 3D filmmaking mean that we need more than a “gun and a girl” for a movie? Do we also need the latest equipment? Not exactly. Godard, as well as the other French New Wave filmmakers, made it a point to shoot films that were inexpensive — using what they had to make what the wanted. However, these filmmakers were also known for their experimentation in film. 3D, save for films like Hugo and The Great Gatsby, has been largely used in action and animation films. It’d be interesting to see what a drama or comedy would look like in the format — especially shot from Godard’s perspective.

Godard 3D glassesThis is one of those films that I personally hope succeeds, whether that means winning awards, getting praise from critics, or America experiences an even newer French New Wave. I haven’t been able to see even a trailer for this thing (if someone has seen one, hook a sister up,) but there’s something to be said about not wanting to see your heroes without their capes.

Godard has always donned his cape — at least for me.  And in the Fandor article, I see he still has not only the super powers of a legendary director, but also the comedic romance he translates into film — the kind I fell in love with back when I saw Breathless.

As Ludwig describes him, Godard himself in fine shape at 82. At one point, peering into his handheld, Godard takes a step back, loses his balance, and falls backward into the wet grass—but rolls right out of the fall and back up on his feet again “like an aikido warrior.”

Godard plans to premiere the film at next year’s Cannes Film Festival, so keep a look out for further updates on his 3D film.

What do you think about Jean-Luc Godard’s latest film? Do you think filming it in 3D will help or hinder the project? What is your favorite Godard film? (Mine’s Masculine Feminine)

Link: On the Set of Godard’s Adieu Au Langage – Fandor


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  • Bravo for this post V. To me, Vivre Sa Vie is a truly remarkable piece of cinema as is Weekend, and who doesn’t love Pierrot le Fou?

    • Don’t even get me started on Pierrot le fou. That’s actually probably my favorite. Band of Outsiders is excellent, too. (I have to stop now or else I never will.)


  • Histoire (du) Cinema is all kinds of beautiful!

  • Pierrot le fou is the first Godard film I’ve ever seen at ot is still my favourite. Un bout de souffle is brilliant of course.

  • Excited. A Woman Is a Woman is a staple in my Netflix queue. Perfect example of using color in film as well as some awesome shots of the sexy Anna Karina ;)

  • SLOW MOTION (Sauve qui peut (la vie)) is my favourite Goddard of all time.

  • “Letter to Jane” co-directed by J-L Godard and J-P Gorin. See it on Vimeo

  • I’ve always appreciated that Godard has refused to be put in a box. He’s like one of those old punk rockers who refuses to listen to the music he listened to last year because it’s over. Even when his films are failures I respect them for their audacity. I absolutely adore Breathless and can watch it over and over, but if I have to watch Weekend again I might kill myself. Nonetheless I absolutely respect and love that it exists.

    • Soderbegh could be considered somewhat similar in that respect don’t you think?

      • Indeed. Soderbergh is one of my favorites as well, for many of the same reasons. I don’t think he has quite as an antagonistic relationship to his audience though. But you can see all sorts of connections between Soderbergh and the New Wave, especially in Ocean’s Twelve.

  • In part, his foray into 3D makes me angry. I’ve always thought of him as an alchemist (dipping his hands into a popular medium for all the unclaimed gold-RE: Passion 1982, À bout de souffle, Weekend, Ici et Ailleurs, Histoires du cinema, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, etc… ) In order to grasp some of his more obscure experiments, it often requires a tangential remark gleaned from print, or one of his deadpan pronouncements… At least it helps in catching a glimpse of the little demons that have been summoned into the circle for a time… He’s already plundered montage in just about any theoretical and/or humourous configuration possible (especially in Breathless)… Also the rather more arcane combinations of sound and image (‘the distance between the two yielding the ecstatic in proportion to that distance’ see godard interviews… RE: Passion ) … Also he’s gone the distance with color and digital art (my primary concern). Now he’s foraging 3D–I was hoping to have at least one relatively untapped niche…. but I guess not… Godard foils yet again… (though digital and 3D still are quite ripe)….

  • I am so curious to see what he can do with 3D. After seeing The Great Gatsby, which seems to be more like a failure, I think 3D is not for everybody. It s not even new or without rules! It has been here starting with the beginning of photography and it had it s golden age 60 years ago. Rules are pretty precise, what has changed is the accuracy and the pace of editing.

  • My favorites are A Bout the souffle, Masculin Feminin, Vivre ca vie, Une femme est une femme… always inspired by watching his films. For tech geeks and about this last 3D he’s making I found a picture where you can see he’s using a couple of 5D, “taped” together!

  • ” after all, Godard can do no wrong — even when he does” <3 <3 <3

  • it’s not that it’s new it’s just that it seems to me only a few films have taken it very far from the action/thriller exploding objects and ghosty floating at your face bit. Definitely been around a while but as you say, the possibilities and the control is at a point that hardly even compares to the old school red and blue glasses type 3D. The sense of space that it invokes is a step in the right direction for the future. Imagine a dramatic space instead of a war zone or an axe murderer… I think it is definitely a new world with tons of possibilities–because it’s just barely cracked the surface of what can be done and how it can function dramatically and narratively instead of as eye candy… Godard will explore sides of 3D that not many have tried, just as he showed a side of digital video that only experimental film has done since (color experiments of a sort of organic digital pastoral (WAKING LIFE, too, perhaps and I’m sure others are around, Von Trier’s films and some P.T. Anderson), etc)…