Notre Musique

introduction by Richard Neer, Department of Art History
Friday, February 6, 2009 - 7:00pm

Part poetry, part journalism, part philosophy, Jean-Luc Godard's Notre Musique is a timeless meditation on war as seen through the prisms of cinema, text and image. Largely set at a literary conference in Sarajevo, the film draws heavily from the Bosnian war, but also on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the brutal treatment of Native Americans, and the legacy of the Nazis. Godard works from Dante's template and splits his vision into three panels: "Hell," "Purgatory" and "Heaven."

In the film, real-life literary figures (including Arab poet Mahmoud Darwish and Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo) intermingle with actors, and documentary meshes with fiction. The film also follows the parallel stories of two Israeli Jewish women: Judith is drawn to the light, Olga is drawn toward darkness. Through evocative language and images, Godard explores a series of conflicting forces: life and death, light and dark, reality and imagination, criminals and victims, positive and negative, good and bad. (Jean-Luc Godard, 2004, 80 min, 35mm)

Notre Musique is presented as part of the 2009 Tournées Festival of New French Film at the Film Studies Center. You are invited to spend five Friday nights this winter watching a conversation unfold between the contemporary work of classic French New Wave directors Garrel, Resnais, Godard and recent films by Honoré and Desplechin, members of the "new, new wave".

The Tournées Festival was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC.