Thursday, March 26, 1998

Jean-Luc Godard's Every Man for Himself (+ Stark's Noema)

California College of the Arts

Paul Godard is a tv producer; Denise, his lover, wants to leave him; and Isabelle (Huppert) is a self-possessed prostitute who crosses paths with each of them. Considered one of Godard’s more accessible films, Sauve Qui Peut (La Vie)–translated into English as Every Man for Himself–is an engrossing elliptical narrative with a complex subtext on sexual difference, women’s speech, media as prostitution, and the failure of a controlling male gaze. Witty and beautiful, the film features a cameo non-appearance by Marguerite Duras (who refuses to enter screenspace) and a fascinating play with sound-image relationships. Preceded by Scott Stark’s Noema (1998) in which “pornographic videos are mined for the unerotic moments between events; the mechanisms of repositioning become furtive searches for meaning within their own blandness.”