Sunday, May 15, 2011

Slow Motion

Sauve Qui Peut/Every Man for Himself (1980) - Godard
While his usual themes- capitalism/prostitution/filmmaking are still present, this film is a giant leap forward from his sixties stuff which are filled with grand, in your face metaphors and loud political ideology that I constantly find prolonged and boring (but I still have soft spot for Week End). Every Man for Himself, with its 87 minute running time is more concise and extremely watchable (whether it was Godard's intention or not). It concerns a tv producer Paul Godard (Jacques Dutronc) and a prostitute, Isabelle (Isabelle Hupert). Paul is juggling with his ex-wife and daughter, girlfriend (Natalie Baye) and work. He is a pretty typical modern male in Godardian universe - an asshole who can't express love and when he does, it only comes out violently (to be fair, he gets his hair pulled, slapped in public and meets a grisly death).

Godard's sardonic tendencies are still very much pronounced, especially in a frank and graphic voice-over conversation between two fathers about their daughters over the image of a pre-adolescent girl (Paul's daughter). Isabelle and her younger sister's 'getting into business' talk is also effectively disgusting. Then there is 'aye-ah-hey' human Rube Goldberg sex contraption- the visualization of capitalism and commerce, which is hilarious and sickening at the same time (sicker than Human Centipede).

Godard's use of the slow motion is intentionally abrupt and disjointed. Rather than using it to smooth the action or show time passing, he accentuates the violence. Soundtrack is used in the same way, whenever characters are trying to draw conclusions or about to say something meaningful to each other, they are interrupted by phone calls, sudden music, train, etc. Endlessly amusing and very watchable, Every Man for Himself is a good introduction for me to get in to more 80s Godard.