One of the lesser seen Godard films but one of the most notorious. This film was made in 1967 and Godard was shifting (again). His earlier movies were strongly narrative, and the films after this one would plunge into investigations on politics and aesthetics. But here, at the transition point, we have elements of both. La chinoise centers on a group of idealist Parisian youths who have taken up the cause of the Chinese Red Army and who aim to overthrow the French government. Godard had his sights firmly on the pulse of the French youth, and one of the reasons why this film is is so infamous is that it charts the inner workings of the rebellion movements growing in France, and also accurately documents a “terrorist” ideology. The film predicts the explosive events that would happen only six months later- May 1968, along with the armed struggles that would emerge in the 70s.
One of the most unique and lucid films that Godard ever conceived, it’s a documentary as much as it is a piece of deranged pop theater. The visuals are striking, often composed only of reds whites and blues, which was typical for Godard in this period…the colors of the American and French flag. The soundtrack is amazing… mixing classical and pop music containing Maoist revolutionary lyrics. The film is challenging, revealing, colorful, experimental, confronting and insightful. A Mao-rock, cine-Marx spectacle. Starring Anne Wiazemsky and Jean-Pierre Leaud.
THE CHILDREN OF MARX AND COCA COLA
LA CHINOISE (1967)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
In French with English subtitles
Piece Touchée (1989)
Directed by Martin Arnold
Martin Arnold is an Austrian experimental filmmaker renowned for his reworkings of Hollywood footage. Arnold´s original material for this film is a piece of “found-footage” from the 50′s. The original sequence was 18 seconds long and here it is stretched out to 15 minutes. Frame by frame, it reveals hidden connections existing beneath the surface of Hollywood cinema.
But pièce touchée is more than just a matter of forms. The reflections, distortions and delays it displays challenge Hollywood´s stable system of space and time. Director Arnold worked one and a half years on this piece. He used an optical printer that he made himself and photographed over 150,000 single images, and then wrote down the sequences of the frames in a two hundred page score. Pièce touchée weeds out the gender-political implications that underlies Hollywood films and conventions. It is the return of the repressed, expressed as a trauma. Its a fine example of aesthetic terrorism, or as the director puts it, “Maybe this is my revenge on film history”.