Archive for June 4th, 2013

chin 2


by Allan Fish

the first in a series of pieces on the masterpieces of eternal enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard.

(France 1967 96m) DVD1/2

Il faut confronter les idées vagues avec ses images claires

d/w  Jean-Luc Godard  ph  Raoul Coutard  ed  Agnès Guillemot, Delphine Desfons  m  Karl-Heinz Stockhausen, Michel Legrand (also Franz Schubert, Antonio Vivaldi)

Jean-Pierre Léaud (Guillaume), Anne Wiazemsky (Veronique), Juliet Berto (Yvonne), Michel Sémeniako (Henri), Lex de Brujin (Kirilov), Omar Diop (Omar), Francis Jeanson (Francis), Blandine Jeanson (Blandine), Eliane Giavagnoli,

La Chinoise, Godard’s first film with Anna Karina’s successor, Anne Wiazemsky, is a film that defies time more than any other.  It’s the film that prefigured and seemed to predict events of less than a year later in Paris, and caught the mood of revolutionary fever and fervour in the air.  But how to capture its essence?  What is La Chinoise in Godard’s career?  The film after Deux ou Trois…?  The film before Weekend?  The connections to both are clear enough.  Yet it’s also 1967, the era of Vietnam, Sergeant Pepper, Pompidou, and Warhol.  It’s his Chelsea Girls, and his ‘Remembrances of Times Past, Present and Future’, a play with acts, a poem with cantos, a symphony with movements.  And it’s his Hamlet, asked by Polonius what he’s reading, and replying “words.”

What is it about?  It’s about kids with pretensions to change the world from their microcosm of an apartment.  It’s about Marxism-Leninism.  It’s about prostitution, of bodies and of ideas.  It’s about Mao, Castro, Jim Hendrix and Descartes, and Sergeant Fury, Captain America and Batman.  It’s about the Lumières opposes to Méliès. It’s a schizophrenic argument a director has with himself.  (more…)

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