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Godard film takes cinema audiences on enigmatic journey through time

Jean-Luc Godard (right) with his actors Cecile Camp and Bruno Putzulu at the Cannes festival Keystone

The Franco-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard is making his fifth bid to win the top award at Cannes film festival with his long-awaited - and enigmatic - movie "Eloge de l'amour".

This content was published on May 16, 2001 - 11:41

It took 70-year-old Godard five years to make the "Eloge d'amour" (in praise of love), which traces four stages of love - meeting, physical passion, arguments and separation - through the experiences of three couples who are young, adult and elderly.

As well as love, the film deals with contemporary subjects such as homelessness, globalisation and the transformation of the working classes. In it the director has taken an unconventional approach to the technique of telling a story by means of flashbacks.

It begins in the present, with scenes shot in Paris in black and white with a traditional movie camera. Then, as the action turns to the past, the images - shot in Brittany - are in colour and were recorded with a small video camera.

Through a series of collages, "Eloge d'amour" also tackles themes such as art, the cinema, literature, and as one journalist who attended the première put it "the difficulty if not the impossibility of being an adult."

If that sounds enigmatic and somewhat obscure, Godard himself is unrepentant. "I remain a contradictory person," says the figurehead of the 1960s' so-called "New Wave" cinema movement. "Everyone depicts the present in colour and the past in black and white. So I did the contrary.

"It is like writing a novel by beginning with its last word instead of its first."

The winner of the prestigious "Palme d'or" award will be announced when the festival ends on Sunday.

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