For Ever Mozart by Jean-Luc Godard is, not surprisingly, complex and meditative and often feels like a mature, restrained version of the director’s absurdist classic Weekend. Here Godard deals with two of humanity’s diametrically opposed instincts – the desire to create versus the desire to destroy – and indirectly makes the case that the two impulses have, at least thus far in our history, fought to a stalemate.
Eventually, the troupe departs for Sarajevo, but along the way their Renault peters out – broken cars and seedy auto repair shops are recurrent themes in Godard’s oeuvre – and they must proceed on foot, through forests, fields and muddy swamps. They take refuge in an isolated farmhouse only to find it’s the hideout of a renegade Army unit, who wield their tanks and rocket launchers with reckless abandon.
Godard draws distinct parallels between destruction and creativity, particularly how each can only exist in the proper context. An undisciplined pack of heavily armed soldiers can only make sense in a setting of anarchic devastation, while a performance of a Mozart sonata belongs in a rarefied air of stately decorum. The only place the twain can meet, according to Godard, is at the cinema, and only in a state of reluctant tension. At the premiere of Messica’s carefully crafted film, the majority of the patrons bolt from the theatre immediately upon hearing that the movie features an insufficient number of explosions.
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