7.1/10
5,953
24 user 45 critic

La Chinoise (1967)

La chinoise (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 4 March 1968 (USA)
A small group of French students are studying Mao, trying to find out their position in the world and how to change the world to a Maoistic community using terrorism.

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writer:

Jean-Luc Godard
Reviews
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
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 Jeanson ... Blandine
Eliane Giovagnoli Eliane Giovagnoli ... Son ami
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A romance between young Parisians, shown through a series of vignettes.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A superifical woman finds conflict choosing between her abusive husband and her vain lover.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Bernard Noël, Macha Méril, Philippe Leroy
Le Gai Savoir (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Juliet Berto, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jean-Luc Godard
Weekend (1967)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A surreal tale of a married couple going on a road trip to visit the wife's parents with the intention of killing them for the inheritance.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon
Made in U.S.A (1966)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the near future, leftist writer Paula 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 »

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, László Szabó, Jean-Pierre Léaud
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A French striptease artist is desperate to become a mother. When her reluctant boyfriend suggests that his best friend impregnate her, feelings become complicated when she accepts.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Paul Belmondo
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A day in the life of a Parisian housewife/prostitute, interspersed with musings on the Vietnam War and other contemporary issues.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey, Roger Montsoret
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Danièle Girard
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina, Graziella Galvani
Alphaville (1965)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the Algerian War, a man and woman from opposing sides fall in love with one another.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Michel Subor, Henri-Jacques Huet
Hail Mary (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A college student gets pregnant without having intercourse, affecting people close and unrelated to her in different ways.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Myriem Roussel, Thierry Rode, Philippe Lacoste
Edit

Storyline

A small group of French students are studying Mao, trying to find out their position in the world and how to change the world to a Maoistic community using terrorism. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

'Manuel Benítez 'El Cordobés' (born Manuel Benítez Pérez in 1936) was a famous matador of the 1960s, noted for bringing a much more acrobatic and theatrical style to the bullring. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Far from Vietnam (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Mao Mao
Music by Gérard Hugé and Claude Channes
Lyrics by Gérard Guégan
Performed by Claudes Channes
See more »

User Reviews

 
While Godard would develop a reputation as a political firebrand, this film affectionately pokes fun at the drive to revolution in his young subjects
18 October 2015 | by crculverSee all my reviews

In 1966, Jean-Luc Godard made the acquaintance of some young members of the French Left who felt a strong pull towards Maoism. By looking to China, they sought to escape the traditional division of the French Left into supporters of the Soviet Union, which had lost its revolutionary fervour, and Trotskyist parties, which were impotent. (Of course, at the time the West was still generally unaware of the horrific toll of Mao's policies.) Godard, whose sociological curiosity and political engagement was strong in these years, decided to study this phenomenon, and the result is LA CHINOISE. While Godard would eventually go on to make a few films that were so didactically political that one felt bludgeoned by the message and watching was no fun, this one surprised me in how entertainingly its plot played out and how astute its observations were.

In a Parisian flat borrowed for the summer while one member's parents are away, a group of young radicals lodge together and fancy themselves a revolutionary cell. Chief among them are Guillaume (Jean-Pierre Léaud), Véronique (Anne Wiazemsky) and Yvonne (Juliet Berto). They read daily from Mao, decrying the Soviet Union and French society, and practicing their demagoguery for their occasional attempts to bring their message into the streets. Gradually, they come to decide that terrorism is necessary to achieve their goals, and they gang up on the sole dissenter from violence and kick him out of the flat. Francis Jeanson, a French academic and opponent of the war in Algeria, as well as Wiazemsky's actual thesis adviser, appears as himself in a scene where he attempts to dissuade Véronique from violence, asking just how much support from the oppressed masses does this sheltered girl think she has.

As desperate as he was for a cause to uphold, I don't believe that Godard really committed himself deep down to Maoism or revolutionary socialism in general. His bitterness against the staid French status quo is palpable, and he likes how the French Maoists at least recognized a need for change, but LA CHINOISE affectionately criticizes its subjects more than it celebrates them. Rather than presenting Maoism convincingly as a way forward, LA CHINOISE ultimately suggests it was only the most recent expression of the drive to rebellion that appears afresh in every young generation. While these characters are Maoists, he borrowed the basic outlines of the plot from Dostoyevsky, who described a set of young radicals well before Marxism-Lenin. The filmmaker underscores how such idealistic young people takes themselves too seriously, he shows their adoption of Maoist art as a sort of fashion statement, their use of Maoist terminology as the latest hip slang.

There are some fun touches here, the acerbic humour and amusing dialogue that Godard brought to his storytelling. The occasional use of Brechtian distancing techniques, like when Guillaume suddenly breaks character and talks to cinematographer Raoul Coutard, lead the viewer to reflect more on what is happening. And in spite of Godard's revolutionary sentiments, LA CHINOISE maintains a dialogue with the film tradition (cinephiles will chuckle at the avant-garde snippet that occasionally pops up in the soundtrack, a clear nod to Ingmar Bergman's film PERSONA).

Like Godard's early colour films, this is also a visual pleasure. Much of the first half of the film seems to me a study of faces: Léaud's famous expressiveness, Wiazemsky's quirky overbite and distinct way of moving her mouth to the left when talking, and Berto's sad eyes. The set design is clever, full of little details. (It's great that the film has been re-released in Blu-Ray, so viewers can appreciate all those touches in high-definition.) I wouldn't recommend LA CHINOISE to someone who had not seen Godard's earlier films, but I rate this pretty highly among his body of work and believe that it will impress anyone who has developed a love for this auteur's style.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

4 March 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La Chinoise See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,355, 14 October 2007

Gross USA:

$36,488

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,488
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed