Monday, April 30, 2012

Helping Hand

Nouvelle Vague (1990) - Godard Nouvelle Vague 1 Nouvelle Vague Nouvelle Vague 2 Nouvelle Vague 7 Nouvelle Vague 3 Nouvelle Vague 6 Nouvelle Vague 5 Nouvelle Vague 8 Nouvelle Vague 4
Could Nouvelle Vague be perhaps the most romantic and hopeful Godard film I've seen so far? With stunning visuals and constant, beautiful soundtrack, this new new wave tells a love story between Elena, a rich industrialist (Domiziana Giodarno) and Roger/Richard, a bum (Alain Delon), whom she picks up in her red sports car on the side of the road. She offers him a helping hand. This theme repeats throughout the film. At first, Roger is a quiet fellow and a confused fool who is buried in the background of a giant mansion by the lake filled with the crowd of business people who mostly converse in quotes and business jargons. This scruffy sage becomes an anchor of Elena's hectic life. But when they go boating, Roger falls in the water and Elena refuses to help him. He drowns and comes back as Richard- a business genius overseeing acquiring Warner Bros. Now it's Elena who needs to be saved.

Nouvelle Vague concerns many of Godard's usual themes: masters and servants, rich and poor, dualism, etc. Beautifully realized and impeccably put together (with the forever autumnal Switzerland countryside background and a constant, beautiful soundtrack), the film boasts a lot of stunning images, even for Godard's standard. The rebirth aspect of the film has multiple meanings here- paralleling lives, positive and negative making a whole, repetition of the waves (hence the apt title, not only referring to French New Wave Godard started in the sixties), resurrection of an old icon (Delon, his sharp features and beauty dulled by age), and perhaps the renewal of the First World in the last decade of the century, letting go of its ugly past and prejudices, lending a hand to the world in turmoil. Nouvelle Vague is an engrossing film and certainly is one of the most beautiful Godard films.

 *Just found this article about Nouvelle Vague Soundtrack. The soundtrack itself (entire film- sound, dialog in two discs), is put out by ECM. It's a magnificent record.

Click here for the article

Visit ECM Records for ordering CD

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