I have seen it! I always wondered when it would happen, and now I know! I have seen. . . THE MOST PRETENTIOUS MOVIE EVER MADE!!! And part of me (a small part of me, mind you) loved it. It goes like this. A still image of Jane Fonda in Hanoi (and not even the famous one of her! How’s THAT for a fuck you!) is presented on the screen and Godard and Gorin in their harshly thick Swiss and French accents talk about it! For an hour! But they don’t even really talk about anything specific! Dig: the first twenty minutes are just the vollying back and forth of “what we’re about to say is” and “what we’re about to say isn’t.” Once their intentions are made clear (although you need a PhD from Brown in Semiotics to even understand one tenth of what the hell they are talking about) some other images flash on the screen. Nixon, John Wayne. . .much like some of the link sketches on Monty Python’s Flying Circus. My take away from this barrage of sound and fury was that Godard and Gorin somehow think Jane Fonda (who’d just starred in Tout Va Bien for them) was some sort of hypocrite. Which I believe was the same arguement dudes like William F. Buckley were making at the time. Radical. Yet somehow, SOMEHOW, this movie appeals to me. After a while, I found the aural wallpaper soothing. And. . .I just have to respect anybody who takes aesthetic arguements so seriously.
Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.
He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.