Return to tiff.’s home page

Film Socialism

Film Socialism

Film Socialisme

Jean-Luc Godard

  • Country: Switzerland
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: French
  • Producer: Ruth Waldburger
  • Screenplay: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Runtime: 97
  • Programmes:

Godard's latest film, a "symphony in three movements," grapples with trying to make sense of a world that appears to be beyond comprehension and meaning.

Experimental and Avant-gardeEuropean

screening times

    • Thursday September 9
    • 6:00:00 PM
    • Saturday September 11
    • 3:45:00 PM
    • AMC 5
    • Sunday September 19
    • 9:30:00 PM
    • Tiff Bell LightBox 2

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Godard’s latest film, a “symphony in three movements,” is perhaps his most difficult and troubling in many years. Deliberately thwarting clarity, narrative and exposition, Film Socialisme functions as a kind of visual scream – in the spirit of Edvard Munch’s famous painting. In the face of civilization’s madness, Godard questions where meaning can be found. Splinters of the remnants of the past, quotations from writers and philosophers and visual fragments from other director's films form a collage of associative meaning and rumination, ordered by this most metaphysical of filmmakers.

The film begins on a cruise ship (a metaphor for the rootless, wandering nature of contemporary society?), where passengers indulge in gambling or disco-dancing in the ship’s nightclub. Brilliant high-definition cinematography is mixed with degraded cellphone-style shots to create a stunning kaleidoscope of imagery and sound. The middle section, entitled “Notre Europe” (“Our Europe”), moves us from the sea to a provincial gas station to examine the domestic politics of the family that runs it. The final section revisits the cruise ship’s journey around the Mediterranean, intercut with historic footage from the region and a dizzying montage of clips from key films in Godard's encyclopedic catalogue of the cinema.

Strangely prescient in many of its underlying themes - the crisis of capitalism (the financial crisis in Greece); the corrupting power of money (the Wall Street meltdown); the growing environmental threat (the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico) - Godard fearlessly continues to mine his chosen territory with the fierce determination of a wise sage. Film Socialisme has the immediacy of automatic writing, its scraps and pieces of insight, aphorisms, word plays and quotations forming a dense canvas of potential meanings. A film of its times.

Piers Handling

director bio

Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris and studied ethnology at the Sorbonne. He worked as a writer and critic for La gazette du cinema and Cahiers du cinema alongside François Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol, with whom he would form the Nouvelle Vague. His first feature, À bout de souffle (60), established him as a leading figure in international cinema. His other films include Vivre sa vie (62), Le mépris (63), Bande à part (64), Alphaville (65), Pierrot le fou (65), Masculin féminin (66), Week-end (67), 2 ou 3 choses que sais d’elle (67), Sauve qui peut (la vie) (79), Passion (82), Je vous salue, Marie (84), Détective (85), Nouvelle vague (90), Allemagne neuf zéro (91), JLG/JLG (95), For Ever Mozart (96), Éloge de l’amour (01) and Film Socialisme (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Alain Badiou, Jean Marc Stehlé, Catherine Tanvier, Patti Smith, Nadège Beausson-Diagne, Olga Riazanova, Elias Sanbar
Ruth Waldburger
Fabrice Aragno
Jean-Luc Godard
ECM Records
International Sales Agent:
 Wild Bunch
Production Company:
Vega Film
Shopping Cart

    Share This

    • Digg
    • Share

    Like This

    film stills and media