Friday, November 30, 2007

La Chinoise

Jean-Luc Godard | 1967 | 96 minutes | France


Jean-Luc Godard’s visually lush film about a small group of Maoist students in France was incredibly prescient. Made in politically tense mid-60s France, just before the events of May 1968, the film in retrospect serves as a great commentary on that turbulent time.

One thing about Marxist-Leninists that hasn’t changed since the ‘60s is that they’re generally a bunch of self-righteous bores. Godard’s Marxist disposition, which was only starting to become explicitly public at this point in this career, thankfully didn’t stop him from creating a wonderfully critical film which elevates the ideas while poking fun at their fervent adherents.

A loose collection of Maoist monologues (didactic to the point of self-mockery) are tied together with the pop-art-y visuals and bold primary coloured sets that make great use of stacks of Mao’s little red books. Jean-Pierre Léaud and Anne Wiazemsky are delightful as Guillaume and Veronique, both absolutely nailing the inexperienced idealism of the generation’s young, and of course, bourgeois, university students.

As the film progresses, the students’ discussions grow closer to the inevitable conclusion that violence will shake things up and start the revolution they yearn for. Unfortunately, their plans for revolutionary action are as ill conceived and naïve as one might expect, and at the film’s conclusion we see that the only changes that have been affected are in the students’ own disillusion. Clearly, Godard was commenting on the politics of the time more than expressing his personal political views, and more than being a film about Marxism, La Chinoise is an affectionate and incisive study of the naïveté of youth.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nobody cares.
Go die.

aaron said...

a very well considered argument.

LET'S SHUT IT DOWN, GANG.

katarina said...

I just burned all my notebooks.

grapestain said...

That person is gay, I think.

aaron said...

do you mean 'anonymous' or all french people? because if you mean french people, well, duh.

grapestain said...

I was referring to Anonymous. If I meant the French, I would have said "those people" or "you people." Kat's from Europe, that's close enough to being French. As for you, you're just effete.

aaron said...

the term you're looking for is 'intellectual' and/ or 'seething with passion'.

the term you're looking for kat is, 'dirt'.

grapestain said...

Seething with passion? I heard you were cold and dead inside. In fact, I was under the impression that you were in fact a cyborg, who has the disposition of Marvin, the depressed robot from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe," but not as likeable.

katarina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aaron said...

for someone who is clearly a giant fucking nerd you sure are dumb.

katarina said...

Agh. I unintentionally deleted my own post. It said:

Aaron's actually a passion-robot, like Cherry 2000. It's why we love him.

Also did he just call me a 'dirt'? I will take 'dirty slut' or nothing, please & thanks.

grapestain said...

Hey, I never SAID I was a genius. You don't have to be smart to know trivia. You: case in point.

grapestain said...

And by "You," I actually mean both of you.

aaron said...

are you posting this much in the hopes that youll win the case of glasses polish in our Best Commenter contest?

because we dont have a contest like that.

aaron said...

ALSO, what we do isnt' trivia', its self improvement. FOR YOUR SELF, miss hasnt-seen-Death-Race-fuckface.