Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Les Carabiniers

I will admit that I held off writing about Jean-Luc Godard’s Les Carabiniers because I had hoped to write a better blog entry for the film beside this:

Never has a film made me question my will to live just to end my misery of watching 80 minutes of two idiots acting like assholes. I apologize for the strong language but I cannot help it. I do not know if I am suffering from Godard fatigue but I am tired of the image obsession. That postcard sequence went way too long to emphasize the point of our consumption of images. I am also tired of watching women being humiliated on screen. I know that soldiers taking advantage of women in the areas they occupied often happened. But I was not in the mood to see one treat a woman like a horse. And frankly for a Godard film, it was visually unappealing because the scenes looked muddy. But then again, I believe that this was one of the few films we have seen that was not a Criterion Collection DVD.

I almost skipped blogging about this film but I feel compelled to write about it. I thought that maybe my fatigue did not have to do with Godard but with the election. When I first saw this film, we were a few days away from the election and I did not need a Godard film to tell me the importance of images as I watch pundits discuss the Tina Fey effect on Sarah Palin and images of William Ayers as they discuss Barack Obama.

Also, I did not need what I would like to call “a rose by any other name” sequence when Cleopatra holds up a postcard of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra and declares that Elizabeth Taylor’s image needs a new name to remind me that women on screen are just interchangeable images. I have Paris Hilton’s My New BFF for that. Paris has a bunch of young women humiliating themselves on national television to fit into her image of a best friend. The name of the “winner” does not matter as long as she basically says yes to whatever Paris wants her to do in order to help Paris maintain her image as a talentless spoiled heiress.

(And now imagine me weeping in my disbelief of making Paris Hilton somewhat relevant in my academic life.)

So I attempted to watch this film again because I thought I had put enough visual distance between my initial viewing experience and my new one. However, I could not make through the first five minutes. I guess the image of my first experience is stuck to my memory.

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