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Le Gai Savoir (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 »

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Juliet Berto ... Patricia Lumumba
Jean-Pierre Léaud ... Émile Rousseau
Jean-Luc Godard ... 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

France | West Germany

Language:

French

Release Date:

12 July 1969 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Le Gai Savoir See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References The Great Dictator (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Le Gai Savoir
4 July 2006 | by sadeanarchistSee all my reviews

As descendants of Rousseau and Lumumba (Léaud and Berto) deconstruct images and sounds in the absolute darkness of an isolated studio, Godard, as the film repeatedly calls for, 'goes back to zero.' That is, he distills and destroys all the elements composing cinema and hurls 95 minutes worth of molotov cocktails at the establishment. Indeed, Godard is seen in the film only through his voice, as he whispers amidst the sound of a radio, like a guerillero preparing his attack on institutional cinema. More situationist than Marxist-Leninist, Le Gai Savoir has a unique sense of tenderness and wit, more of a continuation of leftist pop art that was La Chinoise than the nihilistic attack on consumer society that was WeekEnd or the cerebral rhetoric of a Lotte In Italia. Perhaps it is also due to the presence of Jean Pierre Léaud, the ultimate symbol of the 1960s as seen through the cinema, that Le Gai Savoir is at once in an announcement of something to come and a kind of unconscious eulogy for the end of 1968 (the film began before the protests and was completed after), today it stands as one of the most moving, remarkable and tender hommages to revolutionary aspiration and youth power ever made. As Jean-Pierre and Juliet discuss their revolutionary aspirations, their hopes and dreams, their rhetoric and their philosophy, powerful symbols of radicalism and pop culture strike the audience like a hammer coming out of the screen: A photo of Fidel Castro cutting cane, the sound of a revolutionary Cuban song, a famous quote by Ché Guevara, a reflection on Mao Zedong, many cartoons, a shot of Juliet standing in front of a background dedicated with comic book characters, the sound of a mechanical whistle which blasts through the screen sometimes and then finally, the logical conclusion of Godard's radical experiment with the chemistry of cinema, the complete dissolution of all the elements, a black screen with only sounds, so that we can return to the origin of everything, and recreate society.


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