The Image Book (2018)

JEAN-LUC GODARD

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  Switzerland/France, 2018.  , .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Fabrice Aragno, .  Production Design by .  Film Editing by Jean-Luc Godard.  Cannes Film Festival 2018.  Toronto International Film Festival 2018.

Jean-Luc Godard whittles away at his editing machine to once again come up with a visual You Kids Today essay, this time focusing on images that have influenced his life (to which he adds some new ones of his own).  Because most of it is cinema, the result goes down a lot smoother than his more acerbic commentaries on post-modern living, reaching back through decades of movies (including his own) to wordlessly discuss popular culture, Islamophobia, nuclear war and other topics through a series of beautifully assembled bits of footage that weave a hypnotic spell. This one won’t play beyond his already established audience, and the scrappy old filmmaker probably wouldn’t have it any other way, but there’s a great deal of joy to be found in the collage of pictures and sounds that, while often obscure to anyone not fully keyed in to his pathology, never feel random. There will doubtless be conflicting opinion on what it all means, or whether or not it means anything, but watch it anyway, for even if you have no lofty opinion on it, the experience is soothing and enjoyable.

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