A film about ideas and about how to express those ideas through the medium of film. It deals with the situation of a strike and moves through a series of practical and analytical passages (“an organization of shots”, in Godard’s words) into a finale based around the process of manufacturing weapons.
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What was May '68? Among other things it was a great big delirious inspiring mess. So it is w/ LE VENT D'EST. While we may wish to frame it otherwise, we have to face that Godard and his co-conspirators have doubled down hard on Marxist-Leninist orthodoxy. However, in trying to show us how to do militant cinema, they create a machine that runs so hot it might explode. Which is how we would have it. No? Right.
These films fill a void, a time when the US could not see these Marxist marvels readily attack the establishment yet maintain the idea the people are the state, and the state is responsible for the people, not profit motive. Nationalized healthcare, energy, auto, etc. Today that most closely resembles the 1980s trickle down debacle, Godard’s approach is more than necessary. Use first names, initials if possible…
More interesting for its concept than its execution. There are elements that are interesting and funny but ultimately this is a piece designed to forbid passive viewing. Instead we are meant to think (hard!) and critique our bourgeois assumptions about the purpose of film and engage critically with the polemic. A bit of a slog but, regardless, it has the virtues of ambition and an admirable refusal to compromise.
Nope, another tiresome lecture that didn't work for me. And I find it strange that more people don't find it more hypocritical to be told how to rise up and defeat the ruling class by voices that seem to have been more educated and privileged than a lot of the viewers being patronised. And don't start me on the childishly simplistic statements that are supposed to be deep and meaningful. Urgh!
The most conjuctural film I have ever seen. A restless critique of representation on the aftermath of May 68.
That is not to say that there are no theoretical shortcomings in it:
- The sequence on Althusser seems almost like an avant la lettre misreading along the lines of Ranciere's Althusser's Lesson.