Six fois deux/Sur et sous la communication

Six fois deux/Sur et sous la communication

Slows down the barrage of allusions and ideas in many of Godard's later works to a more deliberate pace, thanks to the use of the televisual medium. This is both a good and a bad thing. You really get to think about the ideas he's putting forth about, for instance, the artificiality of the categories we construct for different types of labor, or the consequences of the physical media through which we transmit information. Those ideas are present in much of Godard's work from around the same time (there are explicit cross-references between Six Fois Deux and Here and Elsewhere, from the same year), but they're often presented in a prohibitively dense fashion.

The flip side is that when the ideas don't land, Six Fois Deux is just excruciatingly dull. Some episodes I just found mostly inscrutable (e.g. episode 6); in others I understood the main thread but simply didn't find the ideas to be particularly worthwhile. There's an episode consisting mainly of an interview with a mathematician who lays out an abstract theory of what he calls catastrophes, which he uses to formalize such diverse notions as human conflict and the relationship between the subject and object of a sentence like "The cat catches the mouse." I found it reminiscent of actor-network theory and similar ideas popular among the French post-structuralists, none of which I find especially compelling, particularly when it comes to the analysis of language, where admittedly I have particularly narrow standards, as a linguist. So this episode fell flat for me - but on the other hand, how often does one see ideas discussed at this level of abstraction anywhere in cinema or television? That, in itself, is valuable, even if the results are not entirely successful.