Film socialisme is the 27th Godard film to play at the New York Film Festival, and with nouvelle vague luminaries like Rohmer, and, most recently, Chabrol dropping like flies, more than one recent reviewer has speculated that this may be his last. It’s a morbid thought, wholly unfounded by any particular knowledge about the director’s health, but perhaps it’s at least partly informed by the rather mordant tone he takes with his new film. Though Godard’s latest nudge at the limits of cinema parades a number of the director’s usual puckish gestures, multilingual plays on words, and provocative image-puns, it’s nonetheless a dour archaeology of the roots of our cultural end times.
Godard has always been interested in the interplay of signs and symbols, but this tendency seems to have reached a fever pitch in Film socialisme, which is rather less utopian than its title suggests, but is instead a kind of mise-en-abîme of video anarchy. Read Leo Goldsmith’s review of Film socialisme.