GOODBYE TO 3-D: A Review of Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D

A “review” overheard between two attendees of Godard’s 3-D film, “Goodbye to Language 3D.” It went something like this:

It was like “Goodbye to 3D.”
Now why do you say it was “Goodbye to 3-D?”
Because it was like having someone stick their thumb in my eye for 70 minutes. No one could handle 120 minutes of that optical abuse.
It’s a Godard film. It’s French New Wave.
Right. With a total lack of craftsmanship in terms of the 3-D, the photography, the music, the sound. I frankly didn’t know what the story was. The dog was good.
That’s the beauty of it- (the other laughs) it’s, it’s Godard. It’s Godard’s way of telling stories. (other laughs again) Events are off screen. It’s not “what you see is what you get.” Instead it’s what happens around the characters that you experience.
Well I was totally confused by “the story.” A nude couple sitting around reciting Solzhenitsyn, I didn’t understand that.
It’s metaphor. He tells you on the screen in big, red text, “Metaphor.”
Aren’t you the one who overheard someone coming out of the theater saying this was their first 3-D film and they hoped it was their last?
They probably have never seen a Godard film. All they can compare it to are Hollywood movies. For a Godard film this really isn’t that unusual, except for the treatment of the 3-D, which is as unique as anything else he’s ever done.
I don’t think he aligned any of them and the tricks he plays with the cameras is non-traditional-
You’re agreeing with me now.
No. I’m saying, had we made this film, people would think we had no talent and no skills of any kind in filmmaking. And that we fundamentally didn’t understand Stereoscopic 3-D.
He does understand. He chooses to completely ignore and destroy the fundamentals of 3-D.
You think he did that out of total cleverness?
Oh yeah.
The sound was jarring.
He cuts sound just like he cuts the picture. Straight cuts. No mixing and blending. It’s a stylistic choice.
What was with the German guy going around and shooting guns?
That’s the husband.
Oh he was the husband.
Yeah. He was the jilted husband.
Oh I didn’t get that at all. So who did he shoot? Nobody?
He shot the boyfriend.
I just thought he shot in the air.
It’s off screen.
Exactly. He shoots him off screen.
So, was the boyfriend the guy bleeding with his head in the fountain?
I wasn’t sure. Okay because it’s all non-linear.  I thought he had fallen asleep in the fountain.
It’s all non-linear.
And the dog. Who’s dog was it?
It’s Godard’s dog.
But in the story it’s their dog. It’s their missing dog?
The river carried it away.
I missed that in the story. I guess I nodded off a few times. Like the guy in the fountain. But I was continually jolted wide awake by loud sounds happening suddenly for no reason. Like there’d be black screen for way too long and then some crashing sound and you’d be saying what just happened?
The black gives your eyes a rest from the 3-D.
That’s the beauty. He knew that he couldn’t sustain that kind of wild 3-D for that length of time without giving you a rest. And he did it visually with black.
I give him points for being bold but he made every stereoscopic violation possible.
And that’s the beauty of this film.
It attacks your eyes and your ears and your mind.
Fusing 3-D takes place in the mind anyway and he attacks the mind with his type of filmmaking.
There are two signature shots in the film I’ve never seen before where the man and woman are split when the right camera pans away from the left following the man. The left camera remains on the girl. Very French especially since they are nude in the second instance. Another shot looking at a reflection in car window and only one eye you could see through and the other eye was all- aaaaah. (the other laughs) And some shots where the I.O. was so diverged that I saw the background in one eye was completely different than the other eye. So I have to ask, is this bold filmmaking or is it completely idiotic? (the other laughs again) I have to say I think it was a bad movie. But we’re obviously still talking about it, and it was a packed house, and people are buying the Blu-Ray. I’m just saying if we made that movie no one would be buying it. They’re selling this film based on this famous experimental filmmaker.
Well the one guy who can stick his thumb in your eye and be praised for it is Godard. And that’s exactly what he did.
I’m very forgiving when it comes to filmmaking because I know how hard it is. So I give him a “thumbs up” for being a master of getting this film exhibited. But I give it a “thumbs down” for everything technical and story. And I mean the sound, the editing, the stereoscopic 3-D.
And I love it and give it a thumbs up because he destroys all expectation and thumbs his nose at everyone else’s idea of filmmaking. More people need to be as bold and daring.
We got a real optic work out. (the other laughs) People who hate 3-D may like this film as it plays to their prejudices.
For me the fun was trying to figure out what he was manipulating to get the extreme 3-D effects that he achieved. I’ll see it again.
If you’re not ready for the experimental aspect of it you should stay away. I did ask a French Stereographer about it and they said, (affecting a French accent) “I told you zee film is horrible.”
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