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 – Tout va bien AKA Everything’s All Right [+extras] (1972)

The film centers on a strike at a sausage factory which is witnessed by an American reporter and her French husband, who is a director of TV commercials. The film has a strong political message which outlines the logic of the class struggle in France in the wake of the May 1968 civil unrest. It also examines the social destruction caused by capitalism. The performers in Tout va bien employ the Brechtian technique of distancing themselves from the audience. By delivering an opaque performance, the actors draw the audience away from the film’s diegesis and towards broader inferences about the film’s meaning. Read More »

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

Letter to Jane is a 1972 French postscript film to Tout Va Bien directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin and made under the auspices of the Dziga Vertov Group. Narrated in a back-and-forth style by both Godard and Gorin, the film serves as a 52-minute cinematic essay that deconstructs a single news photograph of Jane Fonda in Vietnam. This was Godard and Gorin’s final collaboration. 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 »