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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what cinema could have been
Watching Godard generally makes me despair that he made the films he did 40 years ago, and the cinema we have ended up with is paltry filmed theatre and re-makes of cartoons. Yet, here we see a glimpse of cinema's potential. Yes it is beautiful - but more, it is a study of love, using images and sound to tease out questions and ideas. It knows not to try to provide...
Published on 9 May 2002 by d

versus
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film, badly let down by Optimum Releasing
No quibble with the film itself, which is as thought-provoking and technically stunning as anything he's done to date. But Optimum Releasing have done a shoddy job of bringing it to DVD. The great beauty of DVD is the ability to switch subtitles on and off. Once non-French-speakers have watched this a couple of times, chances are they'll be happy to dispense with the...
Published on 25 Sep 2003


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great film, badly let down by Optimum Releasing, 25 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
No quibble with the film itself, which is as thought-provoking and technically stunning as anything he's done to date. But Optimum Releasing have done a shoddy job of bringing it to DVD. The great beauty of DVD is the ability to switch subtitles on and off. Once non-French-speakers have watched this a couple of times, chances are they'll be happy to dispense with the subtitles, so that they don't intrude on the great soundtrack and ravishing images. Guess what? You can't turn 'em off. And, as Amazon says above, the "extras" are bare-bones too. Unfortunately, it will probably be an eternity before a better version is distributed, so for now that this will have to do. Full marks to JLG. Nil points to Optimum Releasing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs A Lot Of Your Time, 23 Sep 2009
By 
DL Productions UK (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is an interesting look at love, from a strange viewpoint, but still interesting. It does get a bit confusing at times, but the cinematography is worth it, Goddard going from picture to a black canvas within seconds, and the dialogue is distinguished and very profound. The strange thing is, Jean-Luc uses black and white for the present day and colour for the past, which was an interesting technique - it's like he wanted us to see the naked truth during the now.

This film will fascinate those who like social psychology and those who like a story which isn't easy to understand.

This DVD is poor, Optimum could have done better. One of my pet hates is "forced" subtitles, where you cannot turn them off. Being a native this annoys me, you should have the choice, sadly they don't give you this choice. At least there's a decent interview with Jean-Luc Goddard, but other than that it's what you see is what you get; I'm not even sure if this was presented in 4:3 originally anyway!

If you like nouveau vague cinema, and have the patience to sit through this, Goddard will reward you.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what cinema could have been, 9 May 2002
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Watching Godard generally makes me despair that he made the films he did 40 years ago, and the cinema we have ended up with is paltry filmed theatre and re-makes of cartoons. Yet, here we see a glimpse of cinema's potential. Yes it is beautiful - but more, it is a study of love, using images and sound to tease out questions and ideas. It knows not to try to provide answers - indeed, it is so wise in this respect it sometimes opens up an idea, then simply says 'Something.' I.e., there is something here worth thinking about, but nothing will be gained by harping on about it any further. This idea itself is as beautiful as anything else in the film. Don't put it on the same shelf as any British film - that would be near sacrilege.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achieving the condition of music, 3 Mar 2007
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Like my fellow countryman (or woman) below, I couldn't make head nor tell of this the first time through which frustrated me for I was moved by it. The basic story follows a composer who was doing research for a cantata to the French jewish/catholic philosopher Simone Weil. He encounters an old couple, former heroes of the Resistance, who have sold their story to Hollywood (who inevitably turn it into a piece of trash) and their granddaughter, an amateur opera singer who he wants to sing his cantata. She refuses and he becomes obsessed with her personality. She is anti-American and anti-capitalist but tragic, unreachable. We travel back and forth in time encountering this relationship and that is the thread that holds it together. The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful - Godard's use of music has been under-rated, critics tending to concentrate on his visual, structural innovations. This film is like a symphony to me. It has visual, philosophical, moral and melodic themes which emerge undergo variations and re-emerge again into a satisfying whole - like a new type of cinema - more like an art installation that you can watch again and again. I've watched it 3 times and it always leaves me thoughtful and peaceful like a great poem or piece of music. I'll watch it many more times with pleasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Becoming an adult, 23 Oct 2012
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Eloge De L'Amour is Godard's tribute to love and the passing of love marinated in History.The b/w 35mm first hour shot like documentary, is Paris now, where Edgar the director wants to realize a project :play,novel,opera,film,he doesn't know which, treating the 4 seasons of a love story:meeting,physical passion,separation,reunion, witnessed through 3 couples,young,adult and old age representing 3 generations.This Paris is strangely reminiscent of the Paris of the nouveau vague,rainy streets,lights glistening in shadows and reflections,interiors with illumination from distant light sources.We get paintings bought back from museums which the Nazis stole from the Jews,we also get editions of Balzac and George Bataille,writing on the Spanish Civil War.There are images of the homeless.Edgar seeks a young woman Elle (Camp) he hopes to cast, who now works as a cleaner..He likes the tone of her voice,it generates ideas.He later remembers her from an interview he had with her grandparents, in Brittany, who fought in the Resistance and survived the holocaust. Their memories were being bought by Spielberg Associates, Americans,who not having their own stories,buy other people's.Godard uses his characters in a polemical rant against why `American' is no name,stealing the soul of everybody else,[Late] capitalism destroying with greed at the end of History.No films, no love,no History,no memory.The 2nd half of the film is shot in DV saturated colour 2 years before, as if we are looking through memory or imagination.The colour following the b/w 1st part is the opposite to what one would expect.as colour postdates b/w in film chronology.It could be of the future.

Eloge reveals Godard's obsessions:cinema,art,literature,memory,history.The b/w film has a timeless quality,static, composed,long exposure,mysterious,voices off camera speaking to voices on,or talking over other voices.The girl quotes Bresson in the 2nd part ,the bodies are shot from behind as they speak as would Bresson.Edgar wants to write a cantata to Simone Weil,who thought the Bible was not a theory of God,but of man.History has been replaced by technology,politics by religion.The antithesis of love is the state.We get images of the holocaust or a talk on Kosovo.Fans look at posters of Bresson's Pickpocket next to posters of The Matrix.Later fans want The Matrix dubbed into Bretton.Edgar seeks to become adult.The film is difficult to grasp on a first view,but its visual command can astonish and his seductive gloom,together with a soundtrack of trains,traffic noises,voices,piano linking images. The quotes of philosophers,poets(Villon),painters(Picasso).Images from the deepest recesses of shadow stay in one's subconscious leavened by the narrator's voiceover or unfinished dialogue.Godard does not make movies,nor entertainment,it is the treatment of the themes of Godard's lifetime.A cinematic philosopher ruminating on age, memory, history, resistance,society,culture and existence,by way of mourning the passing of love. At age 71 he's reflecting on life,from old age,on memory and history as a way to reclaim our lives,diluted if not stolen by modern society and capitalism.As he says in the film,"there is no resistance without history".The passion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classy, arty experience, 13 Sep 2009
By 
Terry Forrest "Caractacus" (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Eloge De L'Amour is a difficult film to take in on the first watch from a story point of view. Things start to fall into place more clearly after a re-run (for me, at least).
The big appeal of this piece is the superb cinematography and arty 'feel', making this a 'sensory experience' as much as the telling of a story. In true French cinema style, human relationships are more important than 'big action' and this adds to the subtle quality of the work.
The arty use of black and white photography is contrasted with the vibrant, over-saturated colour of the final half hour. The stop-start effect at the commencement of the colour section (boats on choppy sea) is an artwork in itself!

I do not completely understand the storyline yet, but this doesn't bother me, because the film is so rich as a human relationship-based 'sensory experience'.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godard breaking the narrative barrier once again, 1 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
Knowing that this was a recent (i.e late) film by Godard I was expecting to be dissapointed by it. However as I watched the film I was soon pulled into a magical state of timelessness. The narrative in Godards film unfolds backwards, the scenes are captivating and very beautiful and the whole idea of film as entertainment (a'la holloywood) is smashed to peices. Eloge de L'amour is a fantastic film that reaches further than mosts other films could ever aspire to. Hats off to Mr. Godard! This is hardcore film making.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very frustrating, 19 Feb 2011
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I will begin this review by stating that I am a very big admirer of Godard's earliest work. While I was completing A-level film studies there was an opportunity to research a subject of your choice as part of coursework. Without a trace of hesitation I chose to research Godard, the project having the convoluted title (don't laugh) 'The film aesthetic in the auteurial signature of Jean-Luc Godard during the French New Wave period'.

Godard, even in the early '60s, never cared for linear narratives or conventional dialogue. Roughly from 1968 onwards he has eschewed any element of narrative to construct 'film essays', assembling a melange of images and words that, apparently, when viewed on a number of occasions, all falls into place. 'Eloge de l'amour' is considered to be amongst the best of his later work.

Having sat through all this, I can quite simply say that it was not a pleasant experience. I find Godard's agenda snobbish and reactionary, simply there to flaunt his own superiority. Why attack Spielberg, the United States, imperialism, etc.? I am mystified by it all.

Godard's New Wave films include back-and-forth banter that works to great effect. In this film, again, conventional dialogue is put away with. This time I found it to be sophomoric and pretentious, making me cringe for the most part. There is no interaction as much as a series of loose, unconnected aphorisms.

A lot of his aesthetic has been to be unorthodox and 'radical', often using alternate camera angles and framing. Here, though, I became really flustered by characters constantly being filmed from their backs, elongated shots, random intertitles. A film like 'Vivre sa vie' also employed these techniques, but then there was a lot of vitality and vigor that held it together that I find missing here.

The cinematography has moments of great beauty, particularly the black-and-white footage of Paris and the transition to colour in the second half of the film.

I guess that I haven't picked up on what other people see in this film. To me, it seemed like pseudo-intellectual nonsense; perhaps I may have disentangled its meaning and appeal on repeated viewings, but judging by how bored and irritated I was by it all, I was not encouraged by that thought.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Melancholy, experimental ..., 20 Nov 2005
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
...and visually stunning. Godard's "Eloge De L'Amour" is all of these things. The film requires at least two viewings; I couldn't make head nor tail of it the first time I watched it as it has a reverse narrative, similar to Lynch's "Mulholland Drive". "Eloge" has no real plot as such ; it is more of a series of observations and philosophical musings on love, history, politics and art ,linked together vaguely by certain key phrases culled from writings from obscure intellectuals. It is a film of two halves; the first half is shot in monochrome in Paris and it takes place two years after the events of the latter half of the film, set in a Breton fishing village and filmed in an unusual colour-splashed digital video format (think David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" video). In Paris a young, high-brow film maker, Edgar, is auditioning for parts in an artistic "project" of his about the various ages and stages of love and ,in so doing, meets a girl whom he first met in Brittany several years before while doing research for another project. It was this encounter with her and her grandparents, who were leading figures in the French Resistance in WW2, that provided the inspiration for Edgar's current project. The film's strength is its visual appeal; there are lots of beautiful images and stylish imagery used throughout ,complemented by some haunting piano music. However it has several weaknesses that make it a difficult film to watch and enjoy; it is disjointed, thin on plot and the philosophical musings are very abstract and often inpenetrable. After watching the film (twice), I found it hard to decipher what it's message was; it was certainly anti-American and anti-globalist in nature ,especially in the realm of popular culture ,but for me it was essentially a proclamation for the present to reclaim the past; for life to be viewed as both a collective and individual linear journey of self discovery based on the "historical" ties of love that bind ,rather than a series of disjointed , crypto-incongruous experiences of pleasure and pain to be consumed, digested and discarded , both from the collective and individual memory. "Eloge" is a poetic and elegiac film ; a film for philosophers , a film for "adults".
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godard begins the new millennium with one of his greatest works yet., 15 Jan 2008
This review is from: Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
In 1961, Jean-Luc Godard directed Une femme est une femme; a full colour pastiche of the contemporary relationship foibles of a troubled young couple at the heart of swinging-sixties Paris. Starring Godard's own former wife and muse Anna Karina in the lead role, it saw the filmmaker at his most joyous and creative; resulting in a finished film that was not only 'in praise of love', but very much in love with its characters and the presentation of the film itself. Forty years on however and Godard found himself looking once again at the subject of love with Éloge de l'amour (2001), a film that claims to be 'In Praise of Love', but is actually quite the opposite.

Presenting a melancholic view of love that is as bewildering as the emotion itself, Éloge de l'amour opens in a monochromatic Paris that brings to mind the beauty and grandeur of Godard earlier classics, such as À bout de souffle (1959) and Bande à part (1964). Enticing it's viewers into a world of jarring contradictions, a varied selection of characterless characters who shuffle through the streets like empty vessels dying without soul, and some of the most intense uses of cinematic composition ever seen; 'Éloge de l'amour' successfully draws us into a labyrinthine underground of dreams, thoughts, desires and hopes; never quite sure where one ends and one begins. Here, we are constantly being forced to look at the film more closely than we normally would, searching for some kind of clue to unlock the images and scenes that are being offered to us, in a way that manages to reference the full spectrum of Godard's work; from the aforementioned romanticism of Une femme est une femme, through to the Brechtian-like alienation techniques of Week End (1967), and on to the blending of the two with Slow Motion (1980).

Being Godard of course, the film also throws us some political ideology and some valid arguments against Hollywood filmmaking and its strangle-hold like monopoly on the idea of what cinema really is. Those raised outside of the US will no doubt agree with Godard's allusions to Hollywood re-writing history to serve as entertainment, as we grow up in a world where films like The Patriot (2000), Braveheart (1995), Titanic (1997) and Pearl Harbour (2001) are becoming educational tools to a generation who derive little pleasure from reading books or researching history. Godard understands the importance of historical accuracy in cinema and makes the points clear (one scene in particular stands out; a scene in which an elderly man and a young couple stand outside a cinema, the old man looking at the publicity poster for Robert Bresson's Pickpocket, whist the young couple completely ignore it, more interested in an advert for The Matrix). Is Godard trying to suggest that an ignorant youth will someday slowly discard what has come before? Or is he simply showing us the cinematic climate as it is now? Éloge de l'amour is never relaxed in its messages; sometimes bordering on the same kind of inconstant ranting that for many destroyed the intensity of a film like Week End. Yet Godard curiously restrains himself here, and, with the last thirty-minutes of the film, makes his attack clearer, and more concise.

Photographed in vibrantly coloured digital-video, over-saturated and manipulated, the end of the film seems much more human in comparison to the cold, black and white "pure cinema" appeal of the first hour. The focus of this segment is people; elderly people for that matter, at odds with a world and culture they no longer understand. The gesture here is touching, not only because of the way its shot and acted, but because it draws a beautiful parallel with the now seventy-something Godard's own thoughts and ruminations on life. Éloge de l'amour is certainly not easy going; it's uncompromising, jarring, distant, elusive, alienating and for the most part, hard to follow. It has a bleak and broken down view of life which creates a sour undercurrent to the optimism of the title. This is not a film that praises love; this is a film that is trying to come to terms with love in a society and culture that is slowly bastardising the word into something devoid of deeper meaning, and searching for that meaning on a horizon filled with broken vessels and broken dreams. No matter what your opinion of him, Godard has, with this film, created a cinematic dream that requires the viewer to invest some time and thought into the experience.

Think of the significance of the interspersed black screens, the recurrence of the title caption, and what is achieved with the switch from monochrome stock to colour video. These are all just part of a single interpretation, but there is a joy that comes from looking at a film and being challenged to think about it. Éloge de l'amour is a film that never quite makes sense and is often hard to watch, but you thank the starts for its existence. Whether you see Godard as a filmmaker passed his peak and nearing the end, or whether you believe that with this film he is working up to something bigger and better, you can rejoice in the fact that Éloge de l'amour is every bit as intelligent, challenging, thoughtful and emotional as real cinema should be.
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Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001]
Eloge De L'amour [DVD] [2001] by Jean-Luc Godard (DVD - 2002)
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