With LWT (in 1968) facing growing criticism for making too many arty TV shows, something from Jean-Luc Godard was thought bound to be a winner. However, after previewing this film was put on the shelf and later junked. Copies do exist in foreign archives. See more »
After taking film to "zero" with -Le Gai Savoir-, Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group put out several Maoist/Marxist films, including this one. The main idea of British Sounds is exactly the soundtrack; the images are primarily still, with minimal camera movement: mostly tracks and pans.
British Sounds is didactic and academic, but not without artistic merit, particularly the use of red and the jump-cutting fists that punch through the British flag repeatedly. The film has six parts, including the famous ten-minute track through an auto assembly line and a four-minute shot of a woman's nude torso; it is also filled with speech, whether it's a text from Engels read aloud or a newscaster talking about the necessities of burning women and children. A real agit-prop film, but, as Godard said about the later -Vladimir and Rosa-, also "a time piece."
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