Paris, 1967. Five university students, spend their summer vacation holed up in an apartment borrowed from a friend’s wealthy parents. They spend their time studying political texts, delivering lectures to each other, and discussing how they can apply the teachings of Mao Tse-tung to their own lives.
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Funny, sarcastic but at the same time sad as it portraits this huge misunderstanding of a different political situation in another country while speaking of a revolution like one knows what it means. It's genius but sad again because it seems while only few watched it not every one will understand it.
Blending fact into fiction, Gordard delivers a cool critique of the highlights and follies of communist/revolutionary ideal implementations. That discussion with Francis Jeanson is a truly insightful one, and oh so relevant for our current turbulent days!
The best movie I've ever seen about the gulf between theory and practice, and one of the crowning achievements of JLG-as-pop-artist. Despite the daunting amount of Maoist rhetoric, it still feels current in a way the Dziga Vertov Group stuff doesn't, because it's less about said rhetoric and more about the naivety of the pretty young things who spout it.
Also, Anne Wiazemsky, 4ever-n-ever.
A wonderful film that subtly and affectionately mocks Godard's own ideology. A group of young, work-shy, bourgeois intellectuals stir rebellion over a summer - failing in their shallowly understood task and forgetting the endeavour quickly enough. Maoism is used for an identity, rather than an ideology. A fantastic satire on radical French political culture in the late 1960s.
In which Godard satirizes the exact sort of people who go to see Godard movies. There is a value in this kind of cannibalism, not only because Godard does it very well, but because he maintains the right distance: even as its student heroes pontificate and act blind to their own absurdities, they occasionally hit on something that could pass for insight. A prescient, sardonic, tender dissection of radicalism abloom.
The apogee of Godard's 60s concern w/ an interrogational form of dialogue. The film & its making are often presented simultaneously; Godard is no longer suppressing the sound of his voice encouraging & examining the imprecision of this milieu of Maoist youth. The scene between Wiazemsky & Jeanson is simply one of the greatest exchanges ever filmed, w/ JLG acknowledging & welcoming the limits of his political beliefs.