Jean-Luc Godard has always exhibited a deep love of language. His work teems with puns and literary quotations; one of his most famous devices, which he introduced in A Woman Is a Woman (1961) and continues to employ liberally, is to fill the entire screen with words, or even a single word. The title of his latest cinematic poem, Goodbye to Language (“Adieu au Langage”), is a bit of wordplay; as Godard explained in a recent interview, adieu can mean good-bye or hello in the French-speaking part of Switzerland where he was raised. This dual meaning provides a clue to the movie’s meaning. At 84, Godard is still looking for new ways to express himself, though he thinks it harder than ever to achieve meaningful interpersonal communication in the information age. That’s saying a lot, given that he’s always presented such communication as a struggle (failed romance is a consistent theme of his narrative films). Continue reading >>