Wednesday, December 3, 2008
2 or 3 Things I know About Her
In the film 2 or 3 Things I know About Her Godard moves further into a critical and overtly political position. He reveals all the gruesome details about the commodities which have slowly dominated Western culture, more specifically in and around Paris. Take for instance the man who both watches the children and, at the same time, lends rooms to the prostitutes. He is paid in commodities: canned goods, beverages, foods, etc. Commodities have become the main circulatory source/force for Western culture. The city itself loses itself to the force of the image. Signs, as he shows, are "drowning reality" against the imagination. The garage shows how cars, these objects, have become little centers of our attention. We care for these objects as much as we would care for another individual. These commodities are our reality. Our encounter with the American goes one step further when he has the two women wear the bags, displaying corporate airline logos, over their heads. This moves us from becoming reliant upon these objects to us fetishizing these objects/signs/logos (these commodities/commodified-images themselves become the object of kind of prostitution). This also becomes clear when we peruse the clothing stores with Juliette. Godard, however, reverses this attack on the image, on the sign, when he displays the horrific images from the War in Vietnam. The power of the image can allow us to be conscious of our surroundings. By displaying these explicitly graphic images Godard imposes on us a move toward Global thinking. This is a rather young idea when it comes to the masses, or rather mass conscientiousness/consciousness. Conquest and conscious understanding of the world were little known to the masses until these “mass-technological” devices were developed. This brings the outside and distanced world to the inside, which forces us to think and feel (about that which fills the image). However, in modern society these world-conscious images are stuffed away in favor of commodity images. It is not the trauma of these countries but the travel to these countries that we see everywhere. These banal images/signs/commodities do not supply us with expressions or passions. Juliette describes this lack of passion when she describes the feeling that something is missing (perhaps she yearns for a creative/authentic experience). These commodities and images are banal because we reproduce what comes from them. We do not create, instead we accumulate. Everyday mundane life is suffocated by these images; we desire these images, and yet once they are attained there is another image to replace the last, another desire, in an endless stream of images/commodities and desires. This might be why Juliette describers herself as feeling scattered. She is so fragmented by these images and the hodological space that they carve into our lives, into our culture, that she loses herself.