Thursday, September 13, 2007

'We haven't yet found the means to live without speaking.'

Scene from Jean-Luc Godard's "Vivre Sa Vie" containing the sample that was used in the track "My Sun" from "In This World".

in this world, if i have no love, i have nothing.
said no to a silent tongue, no in silence, could it be
there was a way of saying that i didn't know. and just
as i was leaving some voice shouted. just shouted:
be strong in death. a real voice in a quiet low tone.
still shouting. nothing more. just shouting . . .

"The meaning of language is an important issue in Godard's cinematic philosophy, as seen most directly in My Life to Live (1962), in the scene between Nana (Anna Karina) and the linguistic philosopher Brice Parain (playing himself) where they converse about language and the necessity of talking.
Sitting in a café, they discuss the nature of words and speaking. Nana prefers not to talk, longing for a life in silence without words. Because the more you talk, the less the words mean, she explains. Words should express exactly what you want to say. But they don't. They betray us, she argues. Parain understands Nana's longing for a wordless life in silence, but as a linguistic philosopher he does not agree with her.
According to Brice Parain, you cannot live without thinking. You have to think, and in order to think you have to speak. Thinking demands words, because you cannot think in any other way. Such is human life, concludes Parain in his lecture on our dependence on language as human beings.
And such is life for a filmmaker, one might add, with reference to Godard's numerous reflections on the essence of the cinematic language in his articles, films and interviews.
"Language is the house man lives in", as Juliette (Marina Vlady) says in "Two or Three Things I Know About Her".
About thirty years later, Godard repeats this linguistic reflection in JLG/JLG - Self-Portrait in December (1995) as the narrator of the polyphonic inner dialogue in his film:
"Where do you live? In language, and I cannot keep silent.
When I am talking I throw myself into an unknown order for which I then become responsible.I must become universal."
(Peder Groongard)


spaewaif said...

I would say this sample is so representative of the spirit of this particular record,the need to communicate,with words,silence,noise,melodies.

cndr said...

i would have to agree and say that this was one of those tracks where the seed of the whole idea was planted inside...

cndr said...

thank you for posting this clip from "vivre sa vie"...