Tag Archives: Anne Wiazemsky

Jean-Luc Godard – La chinoise [+commentary] (1967)

Synopsis:
Born in a decade of political turmoil, La Chinoise has become a cinematic marker for the significant historical events that surrounded its creation. Five Parisian students, their political awareness aroused by Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, envision an overthrow of Western governmental systems – which they aim to bring about through acts of terrorism. One of Godard’s most brilliant films of the 60s, its success lies in the rejection of traditional narrative techniques: it is a dialectical charade which is as disturbing as it is comical. Though criticised in its day as a political manipulation, La Chinoise has proven alarmingly prophetic and its impact on audiences during the late 60s is echoed amongst viewers today. Read More »

Martial Raysse – Le Grand Depart (1971)

Quote:
Not a good movie, though a prime example of audacious, rule-breaking cinema. It’s an early seventies French film shown almost entirely in negative exposure, which in itself makes it worth a watch.

The Package
LE GRAND DEPART (THE GRAND DEPARTURE; 1972) was the only feature directed by the famed French painter and sculptor Martial Raysse. In keeping with the revolutionary spirit of the time, LE GRAND DEPART has no plot to speak of and appears to have been largely made up on the spot. It shares a kinship with such films as BEGOTTEN (1990) and the X-rated short THE OPERATION (1995), both of which experimented with negative exposure (and far more effectively).
For decades LE GRAND DEPART was thought a “lost” film, but in late 2008 it made its DVD debut (in France), to alternately enchant and disappoint viewers anew. Read More »

Philippe Garrel – L’enfant secret AKA The Secret Child (1979) (HD)

After the generational upheaval of May ’68 and its aftermath, and the personal upheavals of drug addiction, depression, and shock therapy, Garrel made the conscious decision to turn away from the increasingly private poetry of his earlier work, at the center of which was his great love Nico. He turned to the great screenwriter Annette Wadamant, who helped him to organize his thoughts into a narrative of “things that happened to me,” and the result was this spare, elemental, devastating film about two damaged souls (Henri de Maublanc and Anne Wiazemsky) trying to build a life together as her child (Xuan Lindenmeyer) is taken away. As Serge Daney wrote, “It’s as if this autobiographical film has succeeded in holding its bearings without forgetting the trace of each stage of the journey it’s passed through.” Read More »

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 »

Jean-Luc Godard – La Chinoise (1967)

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Synopsis:
Born in a decade of political turmoil, La Chinoise has become a cinematic marker for the significant historical events that surrounded its creation. Five Parisian students, their political awareness aroused by Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, envision an overthrow of Western governmental systems – which they aim to bring about through acts of terrorism. One of Godard’s most brilliant films of the 60s, its success lies in the rejection of traditional narrative techniques: it is a dialectical charade which is as disturbing as it is comical. Though criticised in its day as a political manipulation, La Chinoise has proven alarmingly prophetic and its impact on audiences during the late 60s is echoed amongst viewers today. Read More »