The Image Book
[Le livre d’image], directed by Jean-Luc Godard, France 2018, 85'
The 88-year-old director’s essay was honored with a Special Golden Palm: a brilliant, radically formal, provocative intellectual look at the film medium. Each of the chapters (devoted to, among others, travels, wars, the law) is a piece of history and only after we gather them all together, can we we see a complete picture. Composed of quotes from classic works, news or ISIS videos from YouTube, the erudite film talks about the terror of images, not so much explaining the world, but how they are shaping it according to the political order. Moving towards the direction of the Middle East, Jean-Luc Godard looks at the issues of representation and its absence, the curse of the image imposed by the West, subduing our perceptions. By shuffling the images and manipulating the sound on screen, the creator of Breathless asks what role cinema plays in the history of the twentieth and twenty-first century: a chronicler of violence, a virus spreading dangerous ideologies, a guardian of the existing order, or perhaps a passive observer?