On a movie set, in a factory, and at a hotel, Godard explores the nature of work, love and film making. While Solidarity takes on the Polish government, a Polish film director, Jerzy, is ... See full summary »
In a palace of Paris. Two detectives are investigating a two-year-old murder. Emile and Francoise Chenal are putting pressure on Jim Fox Warner, a boxing manager, who owes them a huge ... See full summary »
Jean-Luc Godard's densely packed rumination on the need to create order and beauty in a world ruled by chaos is divided into four distinct but tangentially related stories, including the ... See full summary »
In part one there is talk of a project on the subject of love, with the example of three couples, one young, one mature and the other elderly. At this point the author comes into contact ... See full summary »
Djamila Bouhared (born 1935) joined the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) while a student. She was injured in a shootout and captured by French troops In 1957. Convicted of terrorism, she was sentenced to death, but her execution was blocked after a media campaign led by her French lawyer. She was released in 1962 and was regarded as a hero in Algeria. She is portrayed in the film, The Battle of Algiers (1966). See more »
Roman Polanksi once said that "people like Godard are like little kids playing at being revolutionaries", noting that he had actually grown up surrounded by the realities of communism. As a general rule I would always try to avoid a filmmaker's personal tastes, opinions and politics but, as La Chinoise is essentially a political statement, it's impossible not to let the Godard's politics affect my opinion of it. Sadly, Polanski's comment sums this film up perfectly.
There is no plot. What we are subjected to amounts to little more than a series of vignettes of utterly bourgeois adolescents rambling their tin- pot political philosophies from the comfort of their upper middle class apartments. Was this supposed to be ironic? Or are we supposed to buy into the ideas of these vacuous kids? It fails on both levels. All I wanted to do was give all of them a good slap across the chops and tell them to grow up.
Am I missing the point? Do I just not get it? Perhaps, and I'm fine with that. I truly love some of Godard's films; Vivra Sa Vie, Pierrot Le Fou, Le Mepris. The difference is that all of these films had something or someone for me to care about. The one thing that might have saved La Chinoise for me would have been for all the characters to catch bubonic plague and die horribly. That's would have cheered me up.
Stylistically the film has Godard written all over it but, by the time this film came out (in 1967), these flairs were already wearing a little thin, especially when they're essentially there to veil an utterly feckless piece of propaganda. The only point of vague interest here is the slightly eerie way in which this film precipitated the riots of May 1968. This alone, however, is not worth the 85 minutes of your life you will wish you could have back if you decide to sit through this twaddle.
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