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Sympathy for the Devil (1968)

Godard's documentation of late 1960s Western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Lynch ...
Commentary (voice)
...
Himself - The Rolling Stones
Brian Jones ...
Himself - The Rolling Stones
...
Himself - The Rolling Stones (as Keith Richard)
...
Himself - The Rolling Stones
...
Himself - The Rolling Stones
...
Eve Democracy
Iain Quarrier ...
Fascist porno book seller
Frankie Dymon ...
Black power militant (as Frankie Dymon Jnr.)
Danny Daniels ...
Black power militant
Illario Pedro
Roy Stewart ...
Black power militant
Linbert Spencer
Tommy Ansah ...
(as Tommy Ansar)
Michael McKay
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Storyline

Godard's documentation of late 1960s Western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of news media, the mediated image, a growing technocratic society, women's liberation, the May revolt in France and the power of language. Cutting between three major scenes, including the Rolling Stones in the studio, the film is visually intercut with Eve Democracy (Wiazemsky) using graffiti which amalgamates organisations, corporations and ideologies. Godard also examines the role of the revolutionary within Western culture. Although he believes Western culture needs to be destroyed, it can only be done so by the rejection of intellectualisation. "There is only one way to be an intellectual revolutionary, and that is to give up being an intellectual" Written by <gary.elshaw@vuw.ac.nz>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jean-Luc Godard on Black Power, Rape, Murder, Fascism, Acid, Pornography, Sex, Revolution, Brutality and all the other things that make life worth living.

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

22 April 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One Plus One  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The producer of the film added film of The Rolling Stones performing the completed version of "Sympathy for the Devil" at the end of the movie in an attempt to make it more commercial. Jean-Luc Godard was so incensed by this that he punched the producer during a talk at London's National Film Theatre. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Godard in America (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great blend of revolutionary politics and rock 'n' roll
27 July 2003 | by (Wellington, New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Saw this movie back in '72 while at high school. One of the early rock documentaries to make it to New Zealand, it was unfortunately brutally cut by the censor (with over 20 minutes excised as it might corrupt public morality). The images in this film are still so clear in my mind - powerful images that raised political issues such as the environment and revolution long before they had reached mass public recognition. The linking of pornography and fascist ideology was likewise prophetic.

However this film has one thing above all others to recommend it - it is without a doubt the most interesting footage ever captured of the Rolling Stones, providing illuminating insights into their creative processes as Sympathy for the Devil evolves for a few chords on an acoustic guitar to the version we all know and love (and along the way the most amazing percussive version (unreleased) comes into existence). Normally I find the Rolling Stones a little boring - indeed nothing recorded post Exile on Main Street has ever held my interest. However, with this film, the Stones demonstrated conclusively that they were the cutting edge of Rock 'n' Roll at the end of the '60s. A forgotten gem well worthy of revival.


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Voiceover bingham_bryant
one of godard's more accessible films teejay6682
James Fox...? nickrogers1969
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soundtrack..? nickrogers1969
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