Set in the near future, Paula, a leftist writer, goes from Paris to the French town of Atlantic-Cité when she learns of the death of a former colleague and lover, Richard P. Is she there to... See full summary »
A supposedly idyllic week-end trip to the countryside turns into a never-ending nightmare of traffic jams, revolution, cannibalism and murder as French bourgeois society starts to collapse ... See full summary »
During the Algerian war for independence from France, a young Frenchman living in Geneva who belongs to a right-wing terrorist group and a young woman who belongs to a left-wing terrorist ... See full summary »
In this film, 'Her' refers to both Paris, the character of Juliette Janson and the actress playing her, Marina Vlady. The film is a kind of dramatised documentary, illustrating and ... See full summary »
Paul is young, just demobbed from national service in the French Army, and dishillusioned with civilian life. As his girlfriend builds herself a career as a pop singer, Paul becomes more ... See full summary »
Charlotte is young and modern, not a hair out of place, superficial, cool; she reads fashion magazines - does she have the perfect bust? She lives in a Paris suburb with her son and her ... See full summary »
How do we learn? What do we know? Night after night, not long before dawn, two young adults, Patricia and Emile, meet on a sound stage to discuss learning, discourse, and the path to ... See full summary »
Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893 - 1930) was a Futurist poet in Russia. He became known as the Poet of the Revolution. He committed suicide in April 1930. See more »
A Communist must always ask himself why and think carefuly to see if everything conforms to reality. A Communist is never infallible, should never be arrogant, and never think things are OK only at home.
See more »
La Chinoise, possibly Godard's most political work, is very much a film of its time. The mid-1960s was a period of great social change and political tension. America was at war with Vietnam, relations between Russia and the West were growing ever cooler, and the Far East was awakening to the hymn of the Chinese cultural revolution. Nearer to home, there was increasing tension between the French government, public-sector workers and the student population, which would come to a head in the following year with the student riots. It would have been more surprising if a French film director had not created a film like La Chinoise.
Here, Godard's method of film-making is at its most primitive and extreme. In a sense, it is hardly a film at all, but a series of sketches nailed crudely together, interspersed with some pretty wild pop-art like imagery. The end result is raggedy, colourful, a bit rough round the edges, but also quite witty.
It is not clear from this film where Godard's political allegiances lie. We can see that he is against the hypocrisy of the Amercain interventionalist policy, which he suggests are derived from imperialistic motives. However, it is less certain where he stands with regard to the Maoist communist ideal. The discussion between the students appears incredibly naïve, didactic, to the point of self-mockery. And the fact that the students are evidently from a middle class background seems to further underline the contradiction between their personal circumstances and their apparently deeply held beliefs.
It is probably safest to regard La Chinoise as Godard's view of how students consider the politics of the time rather than as a portrayal of his own political views. With that in mind, the film reads as a very perceptive study of the naivety of young adults. For these people, freed from the need to work for a living as they pursue their studies in comfortable surroundings, it is easy to contrive a woolly-minded simplistic picture of the world, and to believe that a few bombs in a few school classrooms will solve everything. As the film reveals in its final segment, the dream ends as soon as the degree course has ended. Godard seems consciously to be admitting that his film will change nothing but that it is nonetheless valuable to at least make his statement.
34 of 43 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?