Paris Belongs to Us defies genre and defies even the loose standards of the New Wave. It does, however, undeniably represent the cinema of Jacques Rivette.
Jean Luc Godard
“If I love you, that’s the end of you.” — Carmen x
Following Passion (1982) and Scenario du film passion (1982), Jean-Luc Godard directed First Name: Carmen (1983), starring Marushka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffe, and himself. Godard was inspired by Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones (1954), a musical-comedy about a woman that seduces a soldier ordered to escort her to the authorities. Preminger’s film is an adaptation of a 1943 stage production by Oscar Hammerstein II, which is itself an adaptation of the 1845 novella Carmen by Prospere Merimee. Anne-Marie Mieville was very interested in writing a script that was similar to the spirit of Preminger’s film, and Godard loved that film as well but wanted to change the music. Exit Bizet’s music and enter Beethoven’s “Late Quartets”, which are integral for First Name: Carmen.
Underneath the bass drops and the electronic harmony of the garage music scene of 1990s Paris is melancholy and loneliness. The parties are bursting with verve and energy, but when the music stops, so does that joy. Hansen-Løve’s examination of a young DJ over the course of twenty years is warm and tender, an incredible look at the pros and cons of following your passion, allowing art to be your escape, and the joy of music.
When I finally got around to seeing Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, the thing I kept saying to people was, “Isn’t it funny that this film needs to be seen in 3D and yet itself does not justify 3D’s place within cinema?” I still hold my “it’s fine” opinion on that film, denying its status as an Avatar0esque game changer, and I thought I’d have to keep searching for that. Luckily, I found it right off the bat at the New York Film Festival: Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language 3D redefines not only 3D in film, but quite possibly film itself.