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Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still (1972)

Letter to Jane (1972) is a postscript film to Tout va bien directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin and made under the auspices of the Dziga Vertov Group. Narrated in a ... See full summary »

Directors:

Groupe Dziga Vertov, Jean-Luc Godard (uncredited) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Moshe Dayan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
James Dean ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Maria Falconetti ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Henry Fonda ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jane Fonda ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Lillian Gish ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jean-Luc Godard ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Gorin Jean-Pierre Gorin ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Ernesto 'Che' Guevara ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Golda Meir ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Yves Montand ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Richard Nixon ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
John Wayne ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Letter to Jane (1972) is a postscript film to Tout va bien directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin and made under the auspices of the Dziga Vertov Group. Narrated in a back-and-forth style by both Godard and Gorin, the film serves as a 52-minute cinematic essay that deconstructs a single news photograph of Jane Fonda in Vietnam. This was Godard and Gorin's final collaboration. Written by ubuweb film

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

10 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lettre à Jane See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sonimage See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is featured as a bonus feature on the Criterion Collection DVD for Tout Va Bien (1972). See more »

Quotes

Narrator: The camera took this photograph from a low-angle. Actually in the history of cinema this low point of view cannot be considered an innocent one. This fact has been emphasized technically and socially by Orson Wells in his first pictures. The choice of frame is not neutral or innocent either. The frame is composed in relation to the actress who is looking, rather than in relation to what she is looking at. She is presented in the frame as if she were a star... The following page shows ...
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Connections

References The Green Berets (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

D'ya like Maoist Semiotics?
4 February 2002 | by Maldoror-2See all my reviews

Godard and Gorin's collaboration LETTER TO JANE, a follow-up to their relatively more conventional TOUT VA BIEN (1972), is pretty much impossible to see these days, except in film school. Unsurprisingly, there's not much demand for it.

The viewer sees a series of still pictures, accompanied by narration by Godard and Gorin in heavily-accented English. The photo that keeps returning to view is one of Jane Fonda listening to Viet Cong members during her infamous visit to Hanoi. Fonda was the star of TOUT VA BIEN, and Godard and Gorin predictably criticize her for not being "radical" _enough_ in her activism-- the opposite of what the many haters of "Hanoi Jane" say. G & G analyze that and other photos of Fonda and other people, using trendy French theories of semiotics.

Ironically, the two philosophers criticize Fonda's thoughtful facade as reinforcing evil Cartesian thinking-centered philosophy-- all the while speaking of subjects they themselves _thought_ about a lot, and presenting this analysis as important. Being Maoists, of course, they want to validate revolutionary _action_.

If you're interested in conceptual art, like I, you will probably appreciate LETTER TO JANE, even if you disagree with the politics. Others will never see it, anyway. A novel format-- philosophizing-over-still-pictures is certainly unique in film history. However, as with TIMECODE, I wouldn't want every film to be like this-- especially with such dubious politics.

The narration itself is also quite amusing, for those who find bad English funny.


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