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

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.