Kokoszynski – « Exploding the Sign from Within: Paradoxes of Post-Structuralist Epistemology in Adieu au Langage »

Patrick Kokoszynski, « Exploding the Sign from Within: Paradoxes of Post-Structuralist Epistemology in Adieu au Langage », Senses of Cinema 100 [Forms That Think: Jean-Luc Godard] (January 2022).
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As a film-structuralist Godard in many ways performs Metzian ideas in his works. Consciously disavowing the conventions of narrative cinema, he achieves an unprecedented formal freedom and a density of coexisting cinematic codes that go hand in hand with his formal innovations. Yet as shown above, Godard’s method as a filmmaker is still governed by a textual logic which in a way literalises Metz’ claims about cinema as langage as constituted by shots as linguistic units. In this context it is not surprising that the fantasy about overcoming the limits of verbal understanding of the image already surfaces in Godard’s 1978 Montreal lectures.
At the heart of Godard’s graphomania there is the constant desire to overcome the image as a linguistic unit, not by way of a minimalist subtraction of meaning from the images, but by exploding the sign from within and breaking through the code to reestablish a new relationship between signifier and signified. Goodbye to Language indeed.

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Posted by giuseppe d'ottavi