Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book has been birthed, and even our sharpest critics will need time to let it percolate. This is a sort of inevitability that goes hand-in-hand with the master’s inscrutability — absolutely part and parcel of the pleasure, should you be on his wavelength. But because cine-essays on the Arab world aren’t so click-friendly, it seems more attention has been paid to Godard’s disembodied press conference, the first Cannes meet-and-greet done via FaceTime. More than 87 years into his life, the man continues using image-making technology to break boundaries.
My friend Jaime Christley was onto something by calling this “both stupid and awesome”; I’d concur and add that it’s the closest we’ve yet come to Futurama‘s preserved heads, or, in how each person seeks consul, maybe a visit with the Wizard of Oz. (Your man-behind-the-curtain jokes are too easy, so don’t bother.) But of course there’s immense value outside the amusement: this is the most we’ve heard him pontificate since a 2014 interview in support of Goodbye to Language, a dig at Godard Mon Amour and bizarre Michael Bay confusion included. This is all far more fun than a report to the international journalists should ever prove.