Notre Musique review

Septuagenarian Jean-Luc Godard clearly hasn't lost his desire to challenge an audience. He follows up In Praise Of Love with this formally experimental and intellectually bracing lament on mankind's capacity for barbarity.

Borrowing from Dante's Divine Comedy, Notre Musique is structured into three parts : there's Hell, a visceral montage of documentary and fictional images of war; Purgatory, in which Godard and various writers, poets and journalists attend a literary conference in Sarajevo; and, finally, Heaven, in which a martyred woman wanders around a lakeside paradise guarded by US Marines.

The setting may be the Bosnian capital, yet it's the spectre of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict that preoccupies the theorising of the real and fictional characters. Clever wordplays abound and a rumpled Godard gets to deliver a lucid lecture on the shot/counter-shot duality at the heart of cinema.


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