cannes 2010

Even the Subtitles Are Inscrutably Avant-Garde in Godard’s Cannes Film

But what does the head rub mean?

Jean-Luc Godard’s digital-video head-spinner Film Socialisme premiered yesterday at Cannes; the film takes place on a cruise ship and then in a gas station, before confoundedly fracturing into a thousand film clips. It utterly baffled almost everyone who saw it, especially those in the audience who speak only un petit peu de francais and had to make do with Godard’s daunting (and taunting) avant-garde subtitles. Godard has described his subtitles as “Navajo English,” and that would be true — if pidgin-speaking Navajos rode on luxury liners quoting Derrida, lamenting fascism, and pretending not to notice the llama next to the gas pump (long story). There are almost no noun-verb-object constructions, though it’s not really Tonto-speak. Instead, the subtitles are really more like keyword tags to a blog post. We’d explain more, but Godard decided to skip the film’s press conference (“Due to problems the Greeks would be familiar with,” he said in a statement).

We really have no idea what the film was about (still, the cat videos were nice!), but since Godard calls bloggers “passionate Phoenixes” (we’re flattered?) in his press notes, we feel inspired to review his film in Godardian “Navajo English.”

Parrots LOLCats Patti Smith
Cruise Ship Quick Cuts
FinalCut Parrots Egypt
Walkout Quotations
Llama Fascism
Palestine Beautiful Digital Video
Asleep Audience Three Guys
Kamikaze Holocaust Abstraction
Joke Philosophy Holocaust
Stalin Confusion Applause
Need Champagne
noexegesis notime nextmovie

Is that clear enough?

Even the Subtitles Are Inscrutably Avant-Garde in Godard’s Cannes Film