Word games and space invaders: play, form and philosophy in Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville’s Numéro deux (1975)purchase PDF
Authors: Stephen Forcer
Godard, Miéville, Numéro deux, games, form, philosophy
It is well known that issues of playfulness, form and philosophy represent central concerns - even obsessions - within the oeuvre of Jean-Luc Godard. However, what remains to be fully appreciated in Godard’s later work is the extremely dense and engaging way in which these questions interconnect within specific moments of text. Based on a general desire to further critical understanding of Godard’s collaborations with Anne-Marie Miéville, this article aims to open up new approaches to their 1975 work Numéro deux via the notion of formal play. To do this, the article begins with a reading of the wordplay that opens Numéro deux; analysis is then conducted on the film’s playful treatment of the filmic frame, which is variously bordered, transgressed and made mobile. This close reading is extended by reference to theoretical work on the filmic screen as frame/window by André Bazin, Jean Mitry and Jacques Aumont. The final section of the article goes on to argue that the ‘ludo-formal’ aspects of Numéro deux - a potentially crucial point of reference for much of Godard’s late work - raise an extremely rich set of philosophical ideas about what it is to be human in the spatial universe.