Newest Reviews
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Newest Articles
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
  Slow Motion This Is The Modern WorldBuy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc, Nathalie Baye, Roland Amstutz, Cécile Tanner, Anna Baldaccini, Roger Jendly, Fred Personne, Nicole Jacquet, Dore De Rosa, Monique Barscha, Michel Cassagne, Paule Muret, Catherine Freiburghaus, Bernard Cazzasus
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Weirdo
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Television director Paul Godard (Jacques Dutronc) is not having the best of days, stuck in his hotel room with his latest subject, an opera singer, and waiting for her to get ready as she trills at the top of her voice her latest work, thereby driving Paul up the wall. Once he is outside and has his dealings with her sorted out, he goes to his car in the car park whereupon one of the staff approaches him and asks him if he could do him a favour: seeing as how the hotel worker is actually in love with him, could Paul please bugger him, it would mean the world to the man after all, though as the director tries to drive away he is the recipient of a big, wet kiss from his ardent admirer. Things have certainly changed...

Which appeared to be the way the director of Slow Motion, or Sauve qui peut (la vie) if you were French, was thinking about the current situation as his former life as a nineteen-sixties radical had developed into a nineteen-seventies experimenter that fewer and fewer audiences were interested in, and now the eighties had dawned there were to all intents and purposes none too many outlets for an artist with his concerns. Now it was all "every man for himself" (which was the other title for this) and to that end Jean-Luc Godard scraped together what financing he could from various sources and attempted to demonstrate he was still relevant. The result was his most commercial effort for a good ten years.

That said, with the experimental not left behind completely (cut up editing, frame by frame motion, the sound of a Marguerite Duras movie plonked over various scenes, and so on) it was never going to pack them in at the then-growing phenomenon of multiplexes, and you could be forgiven for watching the three main characters, who are perfunctorily connected as far as the plot went, and being none the wiser at the end than at the beginning about what Godard was getting at. Although there was a sense to it of deadpan comedy with all the straightfaced absurdity that might entail, it was noticeably sincere about its lament for the loss of purpose other than to get ahead over the other guy (or girl) that was making itself plain as this decade began, a fairly astute observation considering the era is known for its rampant greed.

Or at least that's the way it was looked back upon as informed by cynics like Godard, but the world of commerce was not one which lent itself to sunny depictions of healthy spending and charity, and so it was when the film gets around to the third chapter of its presentation. Before that we have watched the increasingly lost and jaded Paul suffer various indignities as he sees about his job and his daughter whose birthday it is - he hasn't bought her a gift, which could either be a political statement or he simply cannot be bothered with her anymore. Then there's his ex Denise Rimbaud (Nathalie Baye) who has it in mind that a life in the country is the way to go, away from the rat race, except even that is packed with disappointments and downright weirdoes - when she tries to get a job at a dairy the worker there suggests a method of staving off the monotony by letting the cows lick her in intimate areas, and proceeds to demonstrate.

Activity such as that is more likely to be experienced by the third character, Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert), a mild-mannered call girl who brings the theme of the movie to a point, that being now business has taken over everything, merely by becoming an employee you might as well be a prostitute. When she tries a spot of private enterprise to make more money for herself, the local pimps pounce and demand their share, spanking her in a car park to teach her a lesson (it could have been worse, but maybe this is one of Godard's hard to read jokes). We follow Isabelle from straightforward sex to the sort that the pimps want her to exploit for them, play acting a businessman's incestuous games he would like to indulge in with his wife and daughter, and the disgust that we're presumably intended to feel is supposed to translate into a general dissatisfaction with the manner in which society has allowed us be debased in our drive to succeed in a world run by those who would profit by taking complete advantage of us. Other interpretations were available, naturally. Music by Gabriel Yared.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1112 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali


Last Updated: