July 4, 2020
1386.) Jean-Luc Godard is a Funhouse deity, and so this week I return to the well with a presentation of one of his finest shorts in mine ’umble opinion. “La Puissance de la Parole” (The Power of Words, 1988) is a beautiful short film that interpolates two narrative strands, both of which are powerfully emotional and both of which contain dialogue by a great, long-gone American author. One narrative depicts two gods (here seen as an older man and a younger woman out for a drive) having a conversation – from a short Poe text called “The Power of Words.” The other depicts a phone call between a couple that has broken up – with dialogue taken from The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain. Godard blends these two narrative strands with a variety of music and absolutely radiant imagery, for one of his finest but least-known shorts.