Contemporary World Cinema | 2017 | 102 minutes
Stranger Says: The fact that Jean-Luc Godard would detest this light, new-wave-as-pop-art treatment of his brief courtship and marriage to Anne Wiazemsky is no reason a regular human can’t enjoy it. And in a way, there’s a pleasing irony in the way The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius both teases and pays homage to Godard’s aesthetics—partly because the story turns on the very moment J-LG turned his back on them forever, and partly because putting a mod frame around the unruliness of the soixante-huitards provides a reminder of the immediate context that revolutionary moment arose from. (And, perhaps, places a timely asterisk next to our own culture’s notion that revolutionary politics and art have any business collaborating.) But is it good? Bof. C’est genial. Better than La Chinoise, anyway.
SIFF Says:While shooting his 1967 film LA CHINOISE, internationally respected French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard (Louis Garrel, THE DREAMERS) falls for lead actress Anne Wiazemsky (Stacy Martin, NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL. 1). The granddaughter of Nobel Prize-winning conservative author François Mauriac and eager to shed her bourgeois upbringing, the 19-year-old philosophy student is drawn to his anti-establishment ways, and they marry soon thereafter. But reeling from the film’s eventual critical and commercial failure, Jean-Luc tires of “amusing the middle class” and reassesses his place in art, country, and politics. “This man, who had revolutionized film 10 years earlier, had shaken up my life, too, and was about to revolutionize himself,” Anne narrates. As the 1968 Paris student riots come to fruition, Jean-Luc renounces his former films and sets out to redefine the purpose of cinema as one of activism, regardless of who he pushes away and how it affects Anne’s life and wellbeing. Based on Wiazemsky’s autobiography “Un a après” (”One Year Later”) and directed with a playful energy by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius (2011’s THE ARTIST), GODARD MON AMOUR is a smart, funny, audacious biopic—chock-full of stylistic homages to the director’s work and possessing a clear eye toward the destruction narcissistic geniuses leave in their wake—that will please Godard aficionados and neophytes alike.
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