La Chinoise (1967)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

France, 1967, , , , .  Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard.  Cinematography by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Jean-Luc Godard devotes an entire film to his Maoist sympathies, filming a group of actors ruminating on the nature of capitalism and society against a background full of red books, sweaters and armchairs. ,  and Au Hasard Balthazar‘s  are among the students whose feelings about the Vietnam war lead them to outright terrorism, but this is Godard, so it all happens in non-linear fashion with a series of long-winded arguments that range from funny to completely banal. As supportive as he is of these kids and their revolution, the film gains ground when it also points out the flaws in their arguments, particularly that these characters are able to be so heartfelt because they are so young. It’s actually quite wonderful at times, particularly when the irrepressibly charismatic Leaud is onscreen, and the cinematography is gorgeous, but I’d venture to say that as cinematic essays go Two Or Three Things I Know About Her (which Godard filmed the same year) has more humour and pizzazz.

Venice Film Festival Award:  Special Jury Prize


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