Jean-Luc Godard dissects the structure of society, movies, love and revolution. He asks compelling questions: Can love survive a relationship? Can ideology survive revolution? He also looks at the French student riots of the 1960s with a critical eye, and ends up satirizing contemporary views of history. A battery of thoughts complete with criticism of modern society and movies. Continue reading
“Wind From the East” (“Le Vent D’Est”) is a very deep and highly political discussion about communism, capitalism, art, revolution, intellectualism, Maoism, USSR, tradition, paradigms, poetry… It’s hard to put it in terms of “it’s about…”, since the sequence of images is not based in any form of traditional narrative. In fact, it’s the very opposite of it, its essence sprouting from the need of subversion, a need directly connected to the social/historical/political/artistic context of the 60’s and 70’s: to show things in a different way leads the viewer to see differently, therefore to think differently. A experimental cut, poetic even, given the metaphorical quality of the images. The frontiers of film language fades and encounters those of other art forms, not to weaken the film unity nor its message, but to strengthen them both. Continue reading
A propaganda photo of Jane Fonda talking to, or perhaps listening to, a Vietnamese militant provides the jumping off point for one of cinema’s most stringent semiotic analyses in Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin’s singular Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still. Ostensibly an explanation of Godard’s choice to include a non-diegetic photograph of star Jane Fonda in his promotional materials for Tout va bien, the film is more accurately described as having not Fonda, but the entire apparatus of commercial image-making, as its real target. The basic question at hand here, “What role should intellectuals play in revolution?” is complicated by Godard’s insistence upon the power of media to provide latent insight into the uncaring, status-quo preserving power of capitalism. Continue reading
In 1972, newly radicalized Hollywood star Jane Fonda joined forces with cinematic innovator Jean-Luc Godard and collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin in an unholy artistic alliance that resulted in Tout va bien (Everything’s All Right). This free-ranging assault on consumer capitalism and the establishment left tells the story of a wildcat strike at a sausage factory as witnessed by an American reporter (Fonda) and her has-been New Wave film director husband (Yves Montand). The Criterion Collection is proud to present this masterpiece of radical cinema, a caustic critique of society, marriage, and revolution in post-1968 France.