Godard’s ‘Goodbye to Language’ Screens in Iowa City

Goodbye to Language is Jean Luc Godard's 43rd feature film.
Goodbye to Language is Jean Luc Godard’s 43rd feature film.

FilmScene has been playing three-dimensional movies since they opened, but all of it has been children’s fare, including Frozen, Polar Express and Hugo, as part of The Picture Show — a low-priced children’s and family series sponsored by MidWestOne Bank. Now, FilmScene has become one of the only theaters in the country to screen Goodbye to Language. The film won’t be in Chicago until January and premiered in North America this September.

This is the second 3-D film for Jean Luc Godard, who turned 84 on Dec. 3. His first was a short, entitled The Three Disasters (2013), and it’s the first 3-D film for his cinematographer, Fabrice D’Aragno, who also lensed Godard’s last feature, Film Socialisme (2010).

D’Aragno used a digital Canon 5D for the first few years of filming, which began in 2010, before switching to a Canon 1DC — also a digital video camera. Neither camera is cheap, but each costs far less than Hollywood film cameras, which can run in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Throughout the film, many scenes are heavily saturated and painterly. Godard even shot some of the footage himself, in fact, including the scenes of his dog, Roxy.

The team started from scratch on thinking about 3-D filming, and the result is an experimental tour de force that critics are calling groundbreaking and a master work of the legendary filmmaker.

For Goodbye, D’Aragno built his own 3-D rig, abandoned traditional rules of 3-D standards on cameras by experimenting on their setup and changing the distance between two cameras to create special depth effects.

FilmScene programming director Andy Brodie said he wants to bring more 3-D films and has a special program of experimental and documentary works in mind.

The downtown Iowa City art house theater uses a 200-pound NEC NC1200C projector that has up to eight projector configurations including 3-D, all in digital formats. FilmScene receives almost all their films on special hard drives and loads them onto a computer server for playback.

Goodbye to Language plays on Monday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


World of Bikes presents:


Come talk with our experts about ways to stay on the bike this winter! Find out more at World of Bikes.

Get Started

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.