The Standoff at Sparrow Creek
It’s the kind of movie that will make “Underrated” lists in ten months. Don’t wait that long. See it now.
Héloïse Godet has an air of holy mystery about her here in New York. Like a luckier-than-usual Icarus, she's flown as close to the sun as possible and lived to tell about it. She worked with Jean-Luc Godard, the man who pulled cinema into an age of post-modernism when it was barely ready for modernism. The trajectory of Godard's story is well-known to anyone with a cinema studies degree, but less well-covered is his working method today. Interviews with anyone who collaborated with the press-shy Swiss master are being sought and consumed with equal fervor. What was it like just being in the presence of the man who made "Breathless", "Contempt" and "Pierrot Le Fou", then through all of that away to make arch, troubling experiments in early video like "Numéro Deux" and "France / tour / detour / deux / enfants" before finally winding up in this, the autumn of his career. Since 2001's heart-stoppingly beautiful "Éloge de l'amour," Godard has appeared only sporadically, rearing his head to remind us what polarizing really means, then vanishing for years. He's back again, with "Goodbye to Language," his first film in 3D, and 3D's first outre arthouse extravaganza. Behold the first 3D dutch tilt, the first 3D collage movie, the first 3D trip to the bathroom, the first 3D recycling of scenes from “Piranha 3D,” and on and on. Godard has recalibrated 3D into a revolutionary new investigative tool, a sensory marvel, and fittingly, the experience of watching "Goodbye To Language" is akin to forcing your brain to experience a violent re-birth into a new age, one we haven't named yet. Naturally, I had a few questions for Héloïse Godet, the lead actress, about what it was like being part of this experiment. I like to think the noise from the air conditioning vent and my shaking a little from a feverish cold adds a little of that discomfort into the proceeding, but maybe we shouldn't be able to talk about "Goodbye To Language" without falling under its disorienting spell once more.
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