Jean-Pierre Gorin

Groupe Dziga Vertov & Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Vladimir et Rosa (1971)

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Vladimir and Rosa was in many ways the last true product of the experimental revolutionary filmmaking cooperative the Dziga Vertov Group: the final film produced under the group’s banner before Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin went on to make the feature Tout va bien and the short Letter To Jane under their own names, before parting ways for good. Taking its title from Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, this film is typical of Godard and Gorin’s late 60s/early 70s collaborations. That is to say, it’s shrill, antagonistic, messy and often intentionally grating, as dense and complex as it is difficult and polemical. Read More »

Jean-Pierre Gorin – Routine Pleasures (1986)

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Routine Pleasures makes of its investigation of “men and imagination” in 1980s America “a small-scale epic,” in Gorin’s words, a remake of Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks, 1939). Gorin’s principal subject is a group of model train enthusiasts who meet weekly at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Southern California: their miniature landscapes preserve a lost, perhaps illusory America, and their obsession curiously entwines work and childhood. Gorin weaves this subject with another: his friend and mentor Manny Farber. Farber doesn’t appear, except in photographs; but his paintings and words (and such preoccupations as Jimmy Cagney) do; and Gorin, again assuming the persona of bemused investigator, shuttles between these strands with effortless ingenuity. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin – Le vent d’est AKA Wind From the East (1970) (HD)

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“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. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still (1972)

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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. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Tout Va Bien (1972)

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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.
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Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Le vent d’est AKA East Wind (1970)

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Two voices. One French, one American. A political tract concerning the issues of Communism in the workplace and ideals of freedom and equality, post-May, 1968, is recited back and forth over an obscured image of bodies slumbering in what appears to be a garden. The image is pastoral and idyllic in presentation, suggesting an almost abstract quality devoid of time and place. After a series of static images that simply observe these scenarios – largely with no real movement within the frame – we see a small group of actors preparing themselves for a film. As we continue, these actors, who speak Italian and are dressed in period costume, wander through this idyllic location as the narration goes on to discuss a cinema of revolution and the history of politics in cinema dating as far back as Sergei Eisenstein. Through this, the filmmakers are able to reflect on the notions of politics and history in both a cultural and cinematic sense; creating in the process a film that collapses elements of genuine historical fact, and superimposes them over the struggles and issues of the present day. Read More »