One could imagine a group of people at a societal gathering; say a book fair, and the people are so accustomed to remaining curled up inside their own denial of the depth of inner experience that they refuse to discuss the books with one another or to interact; their main experience is of flashing and swiping, heads pointed town at the flat digital outputs of their smartphones.
One can imagine an uneven love affair, or how all true love affairs
are uneven; one must love more and therefore hurt more than the other. At one point in ADIEU AU LANGAGE Godard's narrator states something about how once an animal as a pet has directly met the gaze of a person, there is no going back, there is no more of being exactly two. Like lovers, like parents and children, they have seen each other because they both have bothered to LOOK: they are connected through specific recognition; of inner life and mutual feeling.
They are no longer two, and yet as we hear this we see the dog alone. One imagines the dog, or any animal that is kept by a human, is the one who bears the burden of longing. One can not imagine that the person who has imprisoned this animal with our love and dictates the terms is the one who ever feels the pain associated with that love as the dog. The person imprisons by deciding when they'll see the dog; we decide how much time we have and how much love we will allow ourselves to give.
In another iteration of this idea, Godard shows us a dog in war. And his narrator says something about the dog as a soldier. He is the soldier of love, the less loved of the two, and he will sacrifice for what is greater than him alone.
ADIEU(goodbye, farewell) . AH DIEUX (oh, Gods). More puns from Godard, but also they are extensions of one thing into another object. We have one thing that is now two things and if both are added together there is a destruction of the first; it is no longer a flat label but it is an extension; a protrusion , like adding a dimension to see something flat protrude into something tangible.
Elements of collage used before by Godard, oh yes, but also now it is speicifally reflecting the idea of a single image, idea or word altered and illuminated by the generation of multiple meanings; multiple sides; three dimensions.
Echoing the flatness of our relations with one another, is the flatness of our ecstasies and sorrows.
The new film is flooded with gestures of lovers, but there is a schism between acting in love and being in love; one unavoidably crystal when seeing these people together. Their life is surrounded with a hideous lack of depth; the large flatscreen television in their home plays a classic Hollywood film in a shitty looking format. The most exciting discussion of literature is of Solzenhitsyn, but the conversation is stilted by the limitations of human's ability to delve inside and to connect to one another. The poetry and humor of Godard's film shows this by a series of searches for pictures of Solzenhitsyn on cellphones.
The destruction of depth is nothing but a result of one plus one. Is this a depthless land we reach by way of (1) refusing to love limitlessly PLUS (2) chaining our intellectual experiences to the army of the new; to the propagation of images sold on the web; the amazon booklist.
Jacques Ellul is mentioned, and i've only read his book Propaganda.(the author but not that book is specifically mentioned in Godard's film), This is a book very much about social change affected by political parties owning philosophy; controlling what we buy and what we see, but not through laws, rather through IDEAS. The application of one plus another to equal two is an element of collage, the duality of dimensions to add up to their implosion and rebuilding; the 3d of the film is used as a readjustment or a corrective in its design.
There are many more complicated ideas and layered structures of film and philosophy at work. Others are and will continue to explore them. The land of the loveless and the land of the half loved; dogs and people both, is a minefield of fascination for me.