6.4/10
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5 user 14 critic

Joy of Learning (1969)

Le gai savoir (original title)
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 »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Patricia Lumumba
...
Émile Rousseau
...
Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

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 revolution. Scenes of Paris's student revolt, the Vietnam War, and other events of the late 1960s, along with posters, photographs, and cartoons, are backdrops to their words. Words themselves are often Patricia and Emile's subject, as are images, sounds, and juxtapositions. In addition to the two characters' musings, the soundtrack includes narration, music, news clips, and noise. The result is a montage, a meditation, a reflection on ideas and how words and images mix - and how filmmaking is a path. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Drama

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Release Date:

12 July 1969 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Joyful Wisdom  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

References War and Peace (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 (1. Allegro maestoso)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
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User Reviews

 
Not his best
7 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is one of Godard's most didactic and least cinematic. It could easily have been a play. Taking place on a bare sound stage, the characters are meant to seem detached from the distractions of the world. This is supposed to allow them to dwell completely in the world of ideas and come to terms with the essence of revolution. But oddly this device seems to work against Goddard. Istead of creating an atmosphere of purity and lack of compromise, it seems as if they have detached themselves from reality and are completely wrapped up in themselves. One gets the idea that their thoughts are overblown to the point of becoming egotistical. Goddard is trying to show two people willing to go to the limits of their ideas. It is an interesting concept, but long after the point is made, he continues to make it to the point of tedium. Where Goddard tries to be an iconoclast, he only achieves a very painful boredom. It is an experiment that didn't work. The concept of the film sounds good but in practice it doesn't come across.

I think this film is only for the hard core Goddard fan, or someone who so strongly agrees with his social-political view, that any statement of them is reassuring and pleasant. Unless you are one or the other, proceed at your own risk.

I saw this when it came out in the 60's at a film fest in NYC at Lincoln Center. I was a big fan of Goddard at the time, but this film changed that. I didn't see another Goddard film for 10 years. I have gotten back to enjoying his films, but I would never revisit this one.


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