From the Chicago Reader (December 1, 1987). — J.R.
Often juxtaposing or superimposing two or more video images within the same ‘Scope frame, Jean-Luc Godard’s remarkable (if seldom screened) 1975 feature — one of the most ambitious and innovative films in his career — literally deconstructs family, sexuality, work, and alienation before our very eyes. Our ears are given a workout as well; the punning commentary and dialogue, whose overlapping meanings can only be approximated in the subtitles, form part of one of his densest sound tracks. Significantly, the film never moves beyond the vantage point of one family’s apartment, and the only time the whole three-generation group (played by nonprofessionals) are brought together in one shot is when they’re watching an unseen television set. In many respects, this is a film about reverse angles and all that they imply; it forms one of Godard’s richest and most disturbing meditations on social reality. The only full ‘Scope images come in the prologue and epilogue, when Godard himself is seen at his video and audio controls. In French with subtitles. 88 min. (JR)