Saturday, March 24, 2007

In Praise of Love

Éloge de l'amour; Drama, France/ Switzerland, 2001; D: Jean-Luc Godard, S: Bruno Putzulu, Cecile Camp, Jean Davy

The director Edgar is planning to make a film about the history of love, opening an audition for a role of a young and a old couple. There he meets the girl Elle and is fascinated by her, being sure he met her somewhere before. After she dies he starts contemplating with his friends about life, philosophy and art. 2 years earlier: Edgar met an older couple that survived the holocaust and sold their story to an American film producer. The granddaughter of that couple was actually Elle.

The big Jean-Luc Godard estranged himself from his famous and praised films in his most fertile period in the '60s. "In Praise of Love" is an confusing and messy art drama with such an colloid, incomprehensible "story" that many viewers will not even figure out what's it about. The film has a few emotions and a clear stoyline shouldn't be essential for a quality film, but this drama seems as if it was directed by an autistic person. Godard decided to make a film about a director who plans to make a film about love but mostly his protagonist is just talking with his friends about everything in life - at one moment, he is talking about the value of a painting, in another about mankind ("Maybe it's not important if mankind can survive, but if that's justified"), then about the Kosovo War, then about the relativity of memories. These are all intriguing themes, but their passion is only visible on the characters in film, and never transmits on to the viewer. To make everything seem even stranger, every 5 minutes or so a text flashes on the screen saying; "For something. For love". Also, the first half of the film is filmed entirely in black and white. Unfortunately, "In Praise" is a pretentious movie about nothing that only a few will enjoy. Godard should have made a film that his protagonist planned, a film about the history of love - it seems 100 times more interesting than this result.


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