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Sympathy for the Devil (1968)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 22 April 1969 (USA)
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
... Himself - The Rolling Stones
... Himself - The Rolling Stones (as Keith Richard)
... Himself - The Rolling Stones
... Himself - The Rolling Stones
... Eve Democracy
... Fascist porno book seller
Frankie Dymon ... Black power militant (as Frankie Dymon Jnr.)
... Black power militant
Ilario Bisi-Pedro
... 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>

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In Eastmancolor and English See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

22 April 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

One Plus One  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was beset with a variety of production difficulties; among other things, the studio burned down and Brian Jones was arrested for cannabis possession. See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Le contrôle de l'univers (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretentious and Boring Mess
3 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

In the 60's, having as the background the rehearsal and recording of "Sympathy for the Devil" in the classic album "Beggar's Banquet" by the revolutionary bad boy Rolling Stones – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones – plus Marianne Faithful, Godard discloses other contemporary revolutionary and ideological movements – the Black Power through the Black Panthers, the feminism, the communism, the fascism - entwined with the reading of a cheap pulp political novel divided in the chapters: "The Stones Rolling; "Outside Black Novel"; "Sight and Sound"; "All About Eve"; "The Heart of Occident"; "Inside Black Syntax"; and, "Under the Stones the Beach".

"Sympathy for the Devil" is another pretentious and boring mess of the uneven director Jean-Luc Godard. The narrative and the footages are awful, but fortunately I love the Stones and "Sympathy for the Devil" and it is nice to see them in the beginning of their careers; otherwise this documentary would be unbearable. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "Sympathy for the Devil"


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