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Goodbye to Language

// Presented as part of Filmatique's French Art House Series //

Spotlight on Goodbye to Language

Exclusive Essay: Creaturely Worlding in Goodbye to Language




Jean-Luc Godard / 2014, Cannes, Bangkok, BFI London, Busan, Cameraimage, CPH:PIX, Dublin, FNC - Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Ghent, Göteborg, Locarno, Mumbai, Munich, New York Film Festival, NYT Critics' Pick, Philadelphia, Sitges, Taipei, Tallinn Black Nights, Toronto, Valdivia, Vancouver, Vienna / 69'


A small town on the shores of Lake Geneva. A ferry comes and goes; a young couple sets up a bookstand. A professor sits on a nearby bench reading a book by Solzhenitsyn, then a catalog of Nicolas de Staël paintings. In the midst of an affair, Gédéon and Josette argue about equality, love, and philosophy. Gédéon believes the two greatest inventions are zero and infinity; Josette counters sex and death. Meanwhile a dog wanders the countryside, invoking an unencumbered perspective.


Formed of parallel viewpoints and an elaborate web of references to art, literature, and history, Goodbye to Language establishes a dialectical relationship between narrative and cinematography in which the deconstruction of one is made manifest through the fracture of the other—culminating in a canine view of the world. Jean-Luc Godard's experimental foray into 3D technology premiered at Busan, Cameraimage, Göteborg, Locarno, Tallinn, Toronto, Vienna and Cannes, where it won the Jury Prize.



"Mr. Godard has a habit of blending gravity with whimsy. His latest film, a 70-minute 3-D visual essay called Goodbye to Language (Adieu au Langage), exhibits the formal and philosophical mischief that has been his late-career calling card. It is baffling and beautiful, a flurry of musical and literary snippets arrayed in counterpoint to a series of brilliantly colored and hauntingly evocative pictures—of flowers, boats, streets, naked bodies and Mr. Godard's own dog, a mixed-breed scene-stealer identified in the credits as Roxy Miéville"

- A.O. Scott, Film Review, The New York Times