short takes (1)

In Everyman for Himself, Jean-Luc Godard has chosen prostitution as his metaphor for contemporary decadence. The film's raw language and occasionally bizarre sexual behavior will repel many viewers, undercutting the possibility of a new presence for Godard on the mainstream movie scene. This is unfortunate, because on a technical level, this harrowing and sometimes hilarious tragicomedy is as great as anything ever produced by this master of modern cinema: The performances are brilliant and Godard's use of music and stop-motion photography is as entertaining as it is revolutionary. Still, audiences will complain, why has this stalwart of the New Wave blurred the line between obscenity and social protest?For the sake of effect, perhaps. In any case, let's hope his future films explore the positive lines suggested by his latest social analysis, which was originally titled "Suave Qui Peut (La Vie)."

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