GODARD DID TO MOVIES WHAT DYLAN DID TO MUSIC.
A film critic once said of Jean-Luc Godard that his films “teach us to demand more of the life we’re given.” But it’s the way he made those films that changed everything – for me, and for every artist, in every medium, ever since. When he opted for assisted suicide last month, his death hit me like a punch.
It took my breath away. Godard was obviously on to something revolutionary, dicking around with the basic grammar of film. Those whipsaw jump cuts that bypassed the brain and shot directly to the heart. The film seemed to be saying that life really can swerve in a bold new direction at any moment — and soon after, mine did.
GODARD PUT ME ON THE PATH I'M ON...
I WANT TO BREAK FORMS.
Now, as I cast my gaze over the ad-infested, corpo-capitalist mindfuck that we’re all living — the markets that don’t tell the ecological truth . . . the corporations that get away with murder . . . Big Finance that plays countries off against each other and rules the world . . . and the godless and immoral commercial aesthetic that has all of us under its evil spell — I’m inclined to think Godard was sending a message to the whole culture. He was shamaning up the move we have to make now if we’re to have any kind of shot. Before we are all overwhelmed.
The world’s richest billion people are going to have to break form. The ones who are creating the problem are going to have to pivot – or at least let themselves be re-directed. We need a jump cut, right now, a change in the very grammar of what it means to live a sustainable life.
Only problem is, we need someone to show us how. And the Godard of our current dilemma has yet to emerge.