Notre Musique movie review, Jean-Luc Godard, Sarah Adler, Nade Dieu, George Aguilar, Rony Kramer, Leticia Gutierrez, Jean-Luc Godard, Juan Goytisolo, Mahmoud Darwich. Review by Jeffrey M. Anderson
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A scene from 'Notre Musique'
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"Notre Musique"
4 stars
79 minutes | Not rated
NY: Wednesday, November 24, 2004
LA: Friday, December 3, 2004
LIMITED: Friday, January 28, 2005
Written & directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Starring Sarah Adler, Nade Dieu, George Aguilar, Rony Kramer, Leticia Gutierrez, Jean-Luc Godard, Juan Goytisolo, Mahmoud Darwich

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Godard takes on Hell, Pergatory, Heaven, and humanities notions of art in masterful 'Notre Musique'

  by Jeffrey M. Anderson
  (Combustible Celluloid)

As daring and volatile as he was 46 years ago when he made "Breathless," Jean-Luc Godard returns with another of his extraordinary, heated, agitated essay films in "Notre Musique."

Packing more thoughts and ideas into any two minutes than most movies have at all, Godard takes us through three chapters, "Hell," "Purgatory" and "Heaven," and he's not too pleased about any of them. War and military are his foremost preoccupation, but he also ponders history, politics, religion, literature and movies.

The first segment, "Hell," is simply a montage of images of war and violence (gleaned from movies and news reports), juxtaposed with a haranguing, monotone piano note. In "Purgatory," which is here on Earth, Godard himself appears and questions the greatness of Homer, fumes about the plight of the Indians, travels to Sarajevo, and lectures in a film class, picking apart Howard Hawks' "His Girl Friday." In "Heaven," the Marines stand guard while people eat apples and read David Goodis novels.

Stylistically, Godard uses startling image and sound techniques both new and borrowed from his own films as far back as "Band of Outsiders." At one point, the film submits that anyone who tells a story without really living it doesn't understand what really happened. The flip side is that the people who live the events can't tell the stories. Godard has done both. Perhaps the great French New Wave filmmaker understands the connection between these various subtopics, but the viewer only needs to latch onto a couple of them to enjoy this awesome experience.

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