Film review: Artful French film is delightful

    After viewing “”In Praise of Love,”” it is clear why director Jean-Luc Godard is so esteemed in his field. His film is a fascinating meditation on love and the nature of human consciousness.

    The abstract concept on which the film is based is the dissect of love into the following four categories: the meeting, physical passion, quarrels and reconciliation. Shot in elegant black and white 35-millimeter film, the first part of Godard’s meditation is about Edgar’s (Bruno Putzulu) self-appointed task to capture these moments after a recent breakup and to define a central idea: “”It’s only when things are over that they make sense.””

    When Edgar starts reminiscing about a holiday two years ago, the film switches to a vibrantly saturated color digital video. Traditionally, directors would use black and white film to depict the past, but Godard wisely chooses to do the contrary. Color is used symbolically to show that Edgar is the most alive two years before the time the film starts. In the beginning, he is on a creative high; the nearly pulsating, raw colors representing his own “”pure”” state. He has recently conceived the idea for his project and is experiencing love at first sight with the nameless woman he wants to cast in his project. Two years later, Edgar finds himself frustrated both personally and professionally. The black and white represents the dullness of his life; he uses every opportunity to discuss his plans, yet he fails to act. This quality is his greatest shortcoming, and Godard delivers the dormant mood of this first part beautifully through the black and white film. Scenes in the beginning are very defined; in the second half, ideas, scenes and intense colors are spilling into one another, effortlessly spreading their energy to the audience. The film is composed of short vignettes, which add to the whimsical mood and abstract tone of the film.

    The one disadvantage of watching this movie as a non-French speaker is that certain scenes are difficult to follow. However, the film’s sheer physical and intellectual beauty leaves the viewer satisfied and even making plans to see it again.

    In Praise of Love

    ****

    Starring Bruno Putzulu and Cecile Camp

    Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

    In theaters Oct. 25

    Rated R

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