Movie Review: ‘GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D’ Explores Relationships & Language In a Profound Way

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Cole Clay // Film Critic


GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D | 70 min. | Rated NR
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Héloïse Godet, Kamel Abdeli and Richard Chevallier

Any cinephile knows French auteur Jean-Luc Goddard’s contribution to cinema. Give him a quick Google and bask in the glory of the French New Wave. It’s without a doubt the coolest film movement we have seen in the last hundred years, and his breakout film BREATHLESS proved that way back in 1960.

GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D (“Adieu au language“) is the 85 year old’s latest video project, and boy, is this film pretentious, but in a good way. Not really sure what the film’s narrative was, but on a pure visceral level it’s astounding. A piece of advice: just give yourself over to the images on-screen.

Goddard reinvents the format of what an arthouse video project can be: full of sensory overloads and a pastiche of beautiful images. The film is so self-aware of the inherent pretension, it ventures in to self-parody (much to the chagrin of films from that ilk).

GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D, Jean-Luc Godard's digital video commentary on relationships, language and the possibilities of the image.

GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE 3D, Jean-Luc Godard’s digital video commentary on relationships, language and the possibilities of the image.

In a full 3D spectacle, Goddard is a commentary on society today in one way or another. Describing GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE is nearly impossible, which is ironic given that it’s a sensory overload of both sight and sound. Looking back, Goddard may have just been playing an elaborate prank on his peers and admirers by making them gawk at the seemingly purposelessness alignment of images.

It’s going to be difficult to see this one as it was made to be seen (in 3D), but some independent theater chains may still be showing the film.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any answers coming out of the brisk 70-minute montage (anymore length would have been overkill), but the questions asked don’t demand to be solved and that’s quite all right.

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.