Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Comments on "Weekend"

Comments on "Weekend"

Task: Explore Godard's philosophy about Life as expressed in the film "Week End."

Godard tells us that Life is meant to be lived free at any cost. He also expresses vividly that most people are not only content to be slaves to society, but that those slave-people are obstacles to any persons seeking to live free. In fact, the slaves of society actively seek to frustrate any attempt by individuals seeking freedom. The act of preventing a person from seeking freedom is equated to violence. Therefore, a state of war exists between those who want to live free, and those who want to perpetuate a society of masters and slaves. Since war is being waged it is incumbent upon freedom-seekers to fight back or be enslaved. In this specific case the society presented us is Western Society typified by American Capitalist Values.

Further, Godard equates the slaves of society to mindless animals. Animals are slaughtered without thought in order for humans to live. Freedom-seekers should view the slaves of society in the same way -- animals to be slaughtered so that the freedom-seekers can live free.

Godard is simply repeating some ideas of eminent philosophers such as Aristotle, Hegel and Nietzsche, and for this parroting he is credited by many as a genius. I disagree. Godard brings nothing new to the table. As much as he pretends to be outside convention, and thus outside western society, he is still firmly entrenched within western society. His only problem with society is that he is not part of the power elite.

Society is Civilization. There is no room for independent thought in Civilization, as the definition of Civilization is the domestication of the masses, and Nature, by the elite. Godard's message is simply a changing of the guard from the current elite to a different elite, his elite.

Godard recognizes that domestication of authentic persons is morally wrong, but he argues that domestication of inauthentic persons is morally right. Unfortunately, Godard has no idea of the true nature of wildness, and therefore he ends up creating the world he detests. To be domesticated is to be mindless, whether by capitalism, communism, consumerism or any other -ism that attempts to de-individualize people (i.e. create a society).

To be wild is to be mindful.

In one scene we witness the actual slaughter of a pig and a swan. In western civilization the pig is the symbol of ignorance, sloth and greed, while the white swan is a symbol of beauty, grace and purity. In western civilization, the pig is a common food animal, while the swan is rarely eaten. In western civilization, the pig is a common animal, while the white swan is a royal animal. Godard slaughters both ignorance and beauty, sloth and grace, greed and purity, common and royal. All he leaves us with is violence. Violence is not wildness.

Godard is only a cinematic thug, and easily ignored.

"All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl." - Jean-Luc Godard

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