Calm down! You don’t have to put me on the parrot or stick a needle under my nails. I confess of my own free will that I watched a film by Godard. In fact, there were two or three. I don’t boast, but I don’t regret it either. In fact, if I regret anything, it’s that I didn’t kiss the girl who accompanied me to that session at the musty Cine Ritz. What was her name again?
I don’t remember. Just like I don’t remember the movie. From the cinema, however, I remember well. Walking into the Cine Ritz of the 1990s 1990, with that unforgettable odor of mold, urine, coffee and still-warm Xerox, was to immediately feel smarter. Almost superior. And being recognized among the three or four spectators who filled the sessions of the films-heads was, I don’t know, the glory. Or must have been. It never happened to me.
There was also Luz and Groff. It was in these stinky, claustrophobic cinemas that we would-be geniuses (don’t think I didn’t recognize you there in your beret, Sabbag) admired the works of geniuses – with a capital g like illumination. And Jean-Luc Godard, who passed away yesterday (13), at 91 years of age, was one of those geniuses. They say. Not my fault. When I arrived in this world, it was already like this: Godard and all that churminha from nouvelle vague were undisputed geniuses. And, consequently, a reason for a lot of anguish for us, intellectualoids of 20 years who took the rain and stayed cold waiting for the Cinematheque to open.
After all, if we weren’t excited about Godard’s new work (I remembered the name of the film I wanted to quote in the first paragraph: “Forever Mozart”) we were considered rednecks, provincial and ignorant . Even worse if we didn’t understand the narrative that was always very bright and profound, punctuated by revolutionary jump cuts. Well, only the energetic, idiots and illiterate, those who died inside, those who don’t have poetry running in their blood, the inferiors don’t understand Godard. Which, moreover, is not to be understood, but to be felt. (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seriously heard that bullshit there).
Whoever didn’t appreciate Godard (pronounced “godarde”) was because he was contaminated with the toxic waste produced by the big US studios. That blah, blah, blah all the cricket bug terrified that the Millennium Bug could trigger an apocalypse. In order to be philosophically, poetically, aesthetically, ethically, psychologically and politically good, the work of art had to be above all boring, boring, dragging, time-consuming and tedious. Or, as they said in the days of real crickets, damn it.
To make matters worse, this yawning intelligence had to be shrouded in insurmountable hermeticism. Or, on the other hand, accessible only to the enlightened few. Unravel a single semiological key in a frame by Godard and you immediately become an intellectual(oid). The type of (de)detaches the elements of words with (para)enthesis.
Luckily, I quickly realized all the imposture that surrounded that little world. But that’s a story for another text, because this one is coming to an end with a lament. After all, it was supposed to be a text that took advantage of the sad ephemeris to, in a Proustian way, talk about the different smells of the cinemas where art films were shown (pronounced “artchy”). It was also to be a tribute to youthful pretension. The one that is missing today. But there was no time.
And what ended up coming out was this. A text that, it occurs to me now, may sound disrespectful to the filmmaker’s fans, to which I apologize in advance. It was not my intention. It’s just that Godard, for me, some time ago stopped being a person of flesh and blood and who passed away yesterday (13), and became practically an adjective to be used to refer to everything that is pernostic. To this idea of contemplation that requires a footnote and name index.
Before closing, I need to reinforce here that I don’t remember the name of the girl who kept me company at the cinema that day. I don’t know if she was brunette or blonde, although she was probably beautiful and smart like every woman I’ve ever been interested in. I would also like to add that my wife is wonderful. And to say no, she is by no means here beside me, making the internationally known “little mouth of hate” and glaring at me with the look of someone who is very serene and doesn’t feel any jealousy towards her husband.