Woody Allen – Jean-Luc Godard? This might seem an odd combination to many American film lovers, at least to much of Woody’s loyal audience, trying hard to be highbrow and intellectual, but not perhaps all that much interested in the challenges of a mischief-maker like JLG. As it happens this is a highly entertaining and somewhat informative look at both filmmakers as they are passing through middle age (Allen 51, Godard 56), lamenting the loss of cinematic and artistic innocence through the corruption of TV and at the same time celebrating their own longevity and continued relevance in the small world of art-cinema. I was especially intrigued by Godard’s use of title cards and the couple of shots of him playing around with videocassettes and books, and a still photo near the end of the film that I think was of Allen around the “Take the Money and Run” days but may have in fact been Godard; both are small, owlish men and the similarities both physical and intellectual are certainly played up here.
This definitely belongs to JLG’s video-work era but there are spots where the oncoming elegiac late-period film works seem to be foreshadowed, though perhaps that’s just because I have this on a tape with “Nouvelle Vague.” I’m not sure what this tells me about Allen on a deep level that I didn’t already know or feel, but I do know that it makes me want to watch “Hannah and Her Sisters” again right away. Lovely and inventive.
Subtitles:French(Hardcoded) + English Fansubs For French Spoken Parts