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See You at Mao (AKA British Sounds) [1970]

07 May

52m; France/U.K.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Henri Roger

Synopsis: After taking film to “zero” with -Le Gai Savoir-, Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group put out several Maoist/Marxist films, including this one. The main idea of British Sounds is exactly the soundtrack; the images are primarily still, with minimal camera movement: mostly tracks and pans. British Sounds is didactic and academic, but not without artistic merit, particularly the use of red and the jump-cutting fists that punch through the British flag repeatedly. The film has six parts, including the famous ten-minute track through an auto assembly line and a four-minute shot of a woman’s nude torso; it is also filled with speech, whether it’s a text from Engels read aloud or a newscaster talking about the necessities of burning women and children. A real agit-prop film, but, as Godard said about the later -Vladimir and Rosa-, also “a time piece.”

 

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