I’ve never much cared for Jean-Luc Godard. I had the beginnings of a headache when I started to watch “Breathless” for the first time, and the jump cuts made it worst. I’ve always wanted to see his other 60s films, made before his descent into radicalism, but I’ve never gotten around to them. His name carries a lot of weight though, which is partially why this film has received so much attention. All the same, “Goodbye To Language 3D” is a talkative, incoherent mess.
“Goodbye To Language 3D” is a combination of both narrative and experimental cinema. Its thin story is about a married woman having an affair with a single man, and they speak Godard’s once cool but now pretentious and overly talky language. The dialogue was also kind of interesting, but whoever subtitled this movie neglected to put in subtitles for some necessary sections. “Goodbye To Language 3D” however, shows more conventions of an experimental movie in its breaking of form through montage and assorted rule ignoring, such as a head scratching interlude involving actors in full costume playing Lord Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and her husband. There’s no need for that brief sequence, other than that it connects briefly to some lines about “Frankenstein.” There are also many different shots of many random things, including a dog that will come to be owned by the main couple. There are some interesting 3D shots that warp the appearance of reality. I liked them and thought they made the world look enjoyably topsy-turvy, but I can understand why they would give headaches to some.
The actors in this movie, such as Héloise Godet and Kamel Abdeli, perform admirably with the material they are given. I can’t really recall the resolution to their story, though, as Godard cuts away to so many other things. This movie lacks both the experimental singularity of Brakhage’s “Mothlight” and the narrative drive of “Life Of Pi 3D.” You have to work to find the meaning in it, but when you arrive at an answer there’s nothing particularly satisfying about it. That dog is pretty cute, though.