IMDb > La chinoise (1967)
La chinoise
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La chinoise (1967) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   2,838 votes »
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Down 29% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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View company contact information for La chinoise on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 March 1968 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A small group of French students are studying Mao, trying to find out their position in the world and... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(10 articles)
‘Jlg/Jlg: self-portrait in December’
 (From SoundOnSight. 19 January 2015, 8:01 AM, PST)

Out 1 Solitaire
 (From MUBI. 30 September 2014, 6:12 AM, PDT)

The Best of “Movie Poster of the Day,” Part 6
 (From MUBI. 4 April 2014, 8:56 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Just a westerner passing by See more (22 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Anne Wiazemsky ... Veronique

Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Guillaume
Juliet Berto ... Yvonne
Michel Semeniako ... Henri
Lex De Bruijn ... Kirilov
Omar Diop ... Omar
Francis Jeanson ... Francis
Blandine Jeanson ... Blandine
Eliane Giovagnoli ... Son ami

Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jean-Luc Godard 

Cinematography by
Raoul Coutard 
 
Film Editing by
Delphine Desfons 
Agnès Guillemot 
 
Production Management
Philippe Dussart .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles L. Bitsch .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
René Levert .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Georges Liron .... camera operator
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min | Argentina:99 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Finland:S | Netherlands:18 (1970) | Portugal:M/16 | Spain:13 | Sweden:11 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (2005) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908 -1961) was a French philosopher, closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.See more »
Quotes:
Guillaume: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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Two in the Wave (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
InternationalSee more »

FAQ

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Just a westerner passing by, 3 April 2014
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

With Jean-Luc Godard's La Chinoise, I think I'm gonna have to play the historical ignorance card. My knowledge of communism/ Marxism/Leninism and most of the other "-isms" in this particular endeavor as well as my knowledge of the social revolution that occurred in France during the sixties is depressingly limited. Sorry, I'm a westerner victim to a public school education.

Godard's La Chinoise is, thus far, his most insufferable endeavor of all his French New Wave films. It's one of the lamest, squarest satires I have yet to see, insufferably telling the same joke (at least I think it's supposed to be funny) of young peoples' devotion to communism and such) over and over, and centering on characters telling having the same conversations over and over again.

The film details the relationship between a group of young revolutionaries (Jean-Pierre Léaud, Juliet Berto, and Anne Wiazemsky) in 1960 France that discuss their fondness for the teachings of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, among other key figures that promoted their own ideas, as well as regarding communism with such fascination. Whether we're supposed to marvel at the vapidness of the characters or support them as they anxiously discover and embrace numerous different ways of thinking is beyond me. It seems with every scene Godard wants us to think differently of these characters, and by the end, I have no idea what to take away from the characters or their groggy conversations.

Thankfully, we have the use of Raoul Coutard's inimitable cinematography and Godard's fascinating pop-art style to marvel at, making La Chinoise a stimulating visual experience. In a Godard film that often feels repetitive and muddled, the visuals take prominence, and Godard shows his appreciation for bold color as well as pop-art once more with this effort. The whole thing is attractive if, like its characters, feels superficial in the long-run.

Having said all that, I can still see how La Chinoise was a daring work for 1967 France. I've already spoke quite a bit about how Godard defied popular cinematic convention, but with La Chinoise and his later, ore political works, he challenged majority viewpoints it seems and became a voice for a generation in many regards. What went from bourgeois, coffee shop/film club banter found a home inside a film, one that defied norms of cinema up until this point. The bright colors, the enthusiastic use of title-cards, and characters showing their appreciation for complex political theory all seemed to connect with mainstream audiences.

However, what about people with no background as to this time period? Did Godard think this film would go on to be an oddity for French cinema? What about for those with no idea as to Leftist thinking or the figures the film name-drops so frequently? This is where I play the ignorance card; La Chinoise doesn't provide us with any kind of backstory or precedent to those unsure of the time period. Because of this, it's difficult to catch on if you're just a stray viewer.

The only idea I can bring to La Chinoise is it's a clever joke on Godard's behalf to try and gain access to the minds of these Leftist thinkers and get on their side by communicating to them, using "-isms" they'll surely know how to use, while ultimately making fun of them. These are characters that have no idea how political empires or divisions operate, so they stew in their own blissful ignorance (kind of like me in this case), acting as if they have the answers to society's problems by proposing ideology and not thinking twice if it sticks or not.

If I'm completely off, excuse my ignorance. Again, just a public school-educated westerner passing by.

Starring: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Juliet Berto, and Anne Wiazemsky. Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard.

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