Notre Musique

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Year Released: 2004
Rating: 3.0

Godard divides the past, present and future into three 'kingdoms' - Hell, Purgatory, Paradise - and talks about how the only constant throughout history has been unspeakable violence (most telling is how the photo of the buildings demolished during the Civil War looks like the torn-apart Sarajevo presented in the film). "Hell" is a masterpiece of editing archival footage together and "Paradise" (presumably after the main character, a Jewish journalist, commits suicide) is colorful and poetic, but "Purgatory" - the present - gets the most attention, and in this section JLG is in 'lament mode' rather than his usual grumbling self, perhaps having realized that the politics of his youth were utopian and naïve (I actually like to interpret this film as an apology of sorts, a humble refutation of past extremist stances). The film occasionally becomes weighed down by its own pragmatism - a typical complaint - though this is also his most openly emotional picture (of late), carrying with it a somber tone rarely found his oeuvre.