The Focus on Blue and Red


The hues of blue and red present throughout this entire film is outstanding. His focus on these two colours is quite interesting.

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Yes it's not hard to miss! What do you think is the significance? Blue is the exact opposite of red. I wouldn't go as far as to say Red = Communism because that doesn't really fit most of the time except maybe when Ferdinand was in the cinema.
Maybe it was only to make it look more vivid; I know Godard intended some pop art-esque shots to come out of the cinematography.

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I think blue and red represent the central conflicts in this film. Red is instinct, passion, emotion, femininity, intuition, adventure. Blue is abstraction, order, words, masculinity, intellect, and structure. For more reference on this distinction, look up the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonian_and_Dionysian

It is no coincidence that Ferdinand is associated with the color blue and Marianne with the color red. This film is very much about the eternal miscommunication between the sexes (as are most of Godard's early films). When Ferdinand asks Marianne why she looks so sad, she responds "because you speak to me in words and I look at you with feelings." The whole movie is an extended meditation on that theme.

Even the improvised Vietnam War play between Ferdinand and Marianne is a poetic variation on this basic concept. In the context of this film, the macrocosm of political conflict embodied by the Vietnam War parallels the microcosm of interpersonal conflicts between the sexes: it represents the paternalistic impulse to impose order and civilization upon "savage" peoples. Vietnam, for Godard, is the macro cultural expression of the eternal miscommunication between the sexes. Similarly, Ferdinand wants to "civilize" Marianne. She just wants to live... With the Vietnam War play, Godard is exhibiting a great deal of self-criticism. He realizes that he drove Anna Karina away.


And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!

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