A connection to a film is hard to find sometimes. I experience quite often when it comes to Godard. As his films get newer and Godard gets older, he seems to increasingly to only make films for himself and with his ideas only half-formed. He seems always to make a film about an idea or a philosophical quagmire, but is not always able to justify this idea or philosophy. It can be frustrating for me to have to sit through these films, but I do it because when Godard works, he really works for me.
I have often expressed my feelings of stupidity when faced with Godard. He refers to such complicated problems and ideas in such a way that it becomes hard to wrap my mind around them. In this film he tries to deal with the difficulty of making art, of making art that people want to see or experience. In the first part of the story, several young people go to Sarajevo in order to save the Bosnians with a theater performance. Once there, they never get the opportunity to perform, but are instead captured by forces and executed. In another segment there is an older man who is trying to make a film outside of the Hollywood system but is frustrated by the obstacles around him. This may seem like a straight forward plot, but nothing is straight forward with Godard.
He frames every scene in such an unrealistic way that it is hard to figure out what he is trying to say, what the actors are trying to say and why they are saying it. He also goes back to the trope he used in previous films, cutting in the middle of scenes to a group practising classical music. This only helps to confuse and frustrate e
I think what would have been better is if he split these two narratives into separate films. I feel like I don’t et enough of the Sarajevo theater troupe, so I don’t really know their motivations or their experience. Conversely I feel like we get too much of this aging director in that he becomes annoying with his constant nos t o everything around him. Godard also tries to connect the two stories by having the main actress in the theater group resurrected in order to be the actress in this film. However that also comes out of nowhere and succeeds in confusing me.
It is hard for me to admit when I don’t get a film. I feel like such a mainstream hack that can only watch the most obvious of comic book movies and rom coms. But all I can do is write the truth as I see it. My truth is not the same as anyone else’s, not Godard, not the reader and not this random person sitting beside me in the crowded coffee shop where I am writing this. I should probably revisit this film again when my truth has shifted, then maybe I’ll finally be able to connect with it.