1 P.M. (1971)

JEAN-LUC GODARD, RICHARD LEACOCK, D.A. PENNEBAKER

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 1971Leacock-Pennebaker.  Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, D.A. Pennebaker.  Cinematography by Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker.  Produced by Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker.  Film Editing by D.A. Pennebaker.

The plan was for Jean-Luc Godard to team up with D.A. Pennebaker and make a film called 1AM (or “One American Movie”), the description of which we get in detail at a production meeting that begins this interesting venture. The result, its new title standing for “One Parallel Movie”, is one that was salvaged from the wreckage of the production problems that followed. Playing well with others was never Godard’s strong suit, so no surprise that the project didn’t turn out quite as intended, resulting in the assembled footage we see here, of various sequences including Rip Torn screaming his way through a construction site and Jefferson Airplane performing on a rooftop. There are plenty of deep observations that can be made both of the art of the era captured as well as the enigmatic, sometimes frustrating personality of the man himself, whose absence from the final product unwittingly makes him its focus, but for anyone who is not fully excited about such a prospect, it will be a giant bore, while for others a treasure trove; know yourself well and choose wisely.

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