Word games and space invaders: form, play and philosophy in Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville's Numéro deux (1975)

Forcer, S. (2005) Word games and space invaders: form, play and philosophy in Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville's Numéro deux (1975). Studies in French Cinema, 5(2), pp. 87-97.

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Publisher's URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1386/sfci.5.2.87/1

Abstract

It is well known that issues of playfulness, form and philosophy represent central concerns—even obsessions—within the œuvre of Jean-Luc Godard. However, what remains to be fully appreciated in Godard's later work is the extremely dense and engaging way in which these questions interconnect within specific moments of text. Based on a general desire to further critical understanding of Godard's collaborations with Anne-Marie Mieville, this article aims to open up new approaches to their 1975 work Numéro deux via the notion of formal play. To do this, the article begins with a reading of the wordplay that opens Numéro deux; analysis is then conducted on the film's playful treatment of the filmic frame, which is variously bordered, transgressed and made mobile. This close reading is extended by reference to theoretical work on the filmic screen as frame/window by André Bazin, Jean Mitry and Jacques Aumont. The final section of the article goes on to argue that the ‘ludo-formal’ aspects of Numéro deux—a potentially crucial point of reference for much of Godard's late work—raise an extremely rich set of philosophical ideas about what it is to be human in the spatial universe.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Mieville, French film, French cinema.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Forcer, Professor Stephen
Authors: Forcer, S.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Journal Name:Studies in French Cinema
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1471-5880
ISSN (Online):1758-9517

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