An analysis of the social upheaval of May 1968 made in the immediate wake of the workers’ and students’ protests. The picture consists of two parts, each with identical image tracks, and differing narration.
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As Godard moves into The Dziga Vertov Group phase it goes without saying that issues of authorship and the question of "who is speaking?" become foregrounded. Anybody who would wish to ghettoize Godard as some kind of unattractive dogmatist would be failing to account for the role cacophony and disorientation play here. He has found what is most interesting and pressing in the culture and embedded himself.
Video projection, rewatched. Time existed and in that passage his contemporaries passed with it, preferentially passed in/on it. Looking now at this politic period is, above all, activating and acting a gaze as if the present is/was now there, and, in this sense, this is one of the most effective films of this period, a time bridge which language establishes the propositions with which history can be conjugated.
Reminds me of The Phantom Menace. It's so dense. Every single image has so many things going on. Kind of nauseating really. Also does anyone else want to see a sitcom about Godard and Mao sharing a NYC apartment? Mao would be the wild card, always starving/murdering people to bring about the revolution. Godard would be the straight-man, uncertain about his roommate's methods but sure of his good intentions.
Breaking the boundaries of narrative, using the ‘primitive’ medium of celluloid and mechanical production, Godard and Gorin transform cinema into engaged participant rather than alienated observer in a society coming face to face with its own contradictions. A visionary approach that has become commonplace in the digital age of smartphones and mobile devices.
Has anyone at MUBI actually watched this film? Their description: "The picture consists of two parts, each with with identical image tracks, and differing narration" is demonstrably wrong.
While there is some similarity between the discussion-on-the-grass shots in each part they are by no means identical and the inserted black and white documentary footage in each is completely different.
'Le déjeuner sur l'herbe', a century on. Students slouch in the grass, mulling over Work and Action. We're denied their faces by flora and frame; facts and quotations interrupt; B&W footage of protest and demonstration intercuts. 100 minutes pass. Once it has established its minimalist stall, the film sticks to it and the repetition becomes hypnotic. Is this an underground meeting, or an afternoon break from class?