Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Chinoise [1967]
Among Godard's films, la Chinoise currently stands as my favourite. Very Brechtian in its form, it does not let the audience enter a state of complacency and let the plot flow: it demands attention.

The bare plot is simple enough, and I won't outline it here, but what is great about this film is its spirit. I daresay it captures the atmosphere of the times - of...
Published on 22 Jun. 2008 by A.S.

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Feckless propoganda
Roman Polanksi once said that "people like Godard are like little kids playing at being revolutionaries", noting that he himself had actually grown up surrounded by the realities of communism and did not find the romaticised version of it entertaining. As a general rule I would always try to avoid letting a filmmaker's personal tastes, opinions and politics affect my...
Published 10 months ago by James the King


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1.0 out of 5 stars Feckless propoganda, 26 Jun. 2014
By 
James the King (...under the stairs) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: La Chinoise [DVD] (DVD)
Roman Polanksi once said that "people like Godard are like little kids playing at being revolutionaries", noting that he himself had actually grown up surrounded by the realities of communism and did not find the romaticised version of it entertaining. As a general rule I would always try to avoid letting a filmmaker's personal tastes, opinions and politics affect my response to their work - how else could one allow themselves to admire Polanski's work...? However, as La Chinoise is essentially a political statement, it's impossible not to let Godard's pseudo politics affect my opinion of it. Sadly, Polanski's comment sums this film up perfectly.

There is no plot. What we are subjected to amounts to little more than a series of vignettes of utterly bourgeois adolescents rambling their tin-pot political philosophies from the comfort of their upper middle class apartments. Was this supposed to be ironic? Or are we supposed to buy into the ideas of these vacuous kids? It fails on both levels. All I wanted to do was give all of them a good slap across the chops and tell them to grow up.

Am I missing the point? Do I just not get it? Perhaps, and I'm fine with that. I truly love some of Godard's films; Vivra Sa Vie, Pierrot Le Fou, Le Mepris. The difference is that all of these films had something or someone for me to care about. The one thing that might have saved La Chinoise for me would have been for all the characters to catch bubonic plague and die horribly. That would have been a pay off worth waiting for.

Stylistically the film has Godard written all over it but, by the time this film came out (in 1967), these flairs were already wearing a little thin, especially when they're essentially there to veil an utterly feckless piece of propaganda. The only point of vague interest here is the slightly eerie way in which this film precipitated the riots of May 1968. This alone, however, is not worth the 85 minutes of your life you will wish you could have back if you decide to sit through this twaddle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Chinoise [1967], 22 Jun. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: La Chinoise [DVD] (DVD)
Among Godard's films, la Chinoise currently stands as my favourite. Very Brechtian in its form, it does not let the audience enter a state of complacency and let the plot flow: it demands attention.

The bare plot is simple enough, and I won't outline it here, but what is great about this film is its spirit. I daresay it captures the atmosphere of the times - of a contemporaneous flat of young political activists - perfectly. I stress the word 'atmosphere', as that is the first thing that draws you in. The little things, the note-writing on the walls, posters, paintings, books, the way the people in the flat sit, stand, study, listen to the radio, and relate to each other, all of these paint in successive strokes the atmosphere of the flat.

But then the camera moves and decides to show the crew and the equipments and so we are not even allowed to forget that this is a show. The characters come forward in an interview like monologue (we can't hear the interlocutor) and tell you about themselves, how they came to be in that flat, their political beliefs, etc. They may just be playing their parts and reciting dialogue but one gets the feeling that they are also speaking for themselves (a character (Guillaume) explicitly says that he is!)

Now for the most demanding part of the film, the actual 'text', shall I say? Apart from incessant quotes from the Red Book, the actual dialogues and talks in the film are quite intellectually demanding, and in fact quite enlightening at times. I do recommend a second view to get more out of the film. I was especially impressed by the talk between Véronique and the Professor-activist in the train. I shall not go into details (and raptures) about the intellectually stimulating bits of the film, but if you're not looking forward to an intellectual engagement with what is said (and shown) in the film, I definitely do not recommend this.

This film is not a slag-off of the maoist-student movement in France, as the bare plot may suggest, it is rather a constructive engagement with what was happening in the times. I think the end note is that of hope rather than pessimism, though with clauses: it is but a first step, as Véronique says. A naïve hope perhaps, and dangerous too in this naïvety, but a hope nevertheless. We see at the end each of the characters going out and trying to work towards their hopes. There is no closure. We are left to make up our own minds.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Self-Mocking View of Ingenuity, 4 April 2006
This review is from: La Chinoise [DVD] (DVD)
The movie consist of a collage of a series of 'sketches'. Each offering an insightful, and somewhat 'second degrée', perspective of a group of näive bourgeois college students immersing themselves in the teachings of Chairman Mao, playing at plotting a communist coup, discussing politics in a college republic style, all the ideals that made the avant-garde at the time. Just before the romantic may 68 student riots.
Godard's style is crude in a radical (typical of the time) and contaminated by contemporary pop-art, visually and also in the soundtrack.
The most political of his works, it still doesn't say much about his own political beliefs.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars China and violence as options?, 31 Dec. 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: La Chinoise [DVD] (DVD)
La Chinoise (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)

La Chinoise is now regarded as an uncannily prescient and insightful examination of the New Left activism during those years (ie the 1960s), says an excellent Wikipedia review, which I recommend to read first as I will not repeat all facts. I will concentrate on one question: Is the film still relevant today? The answer is yes, because Godard's is an excellent film, stylistically, topically, cinematographically and acting-wise. A political key scene is Véronique (Anne Wiazemsky), the female lead of the student group (the male is Jean-Paul Léaud), in a long train discussion with the political philosopher Francis Jeanson, a former communist and in real life her professor at Nanterre. Jeanson advises study of the China model and the violence experiences, but strongly advises against closing the universities and using violence. He also states that the French left, at this stage, would not be willing to go onto the streets to overthrow the political system. May 1968 in a way proves both right: Véronique about a joint student/worker upheaval and closed universities, Jeanson about the French Left, in the long run, not being willing to uproot the political system.

18 Sep 2011
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a bit surreal..., 20 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: La Chinoise [DVD] (DVD)
... but such a great pseudo-documentary about the Parisian, idealistic but somehow legless Maoist vague in Paris. Some of the scenes are absolute gems of dialogue building and many of the arguments truly enlightening.

It is one of my favourite Godard, and I do deeply recommend watching this film.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This film was made before 1968, 20 Nov. 2005
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: La Chinoise [DVD] (DVD)
...and it highlights with remarkable prescience the influence of Marxist-Leninist and Maoist political thought amongst the predominantly bourgeois students of the Sorbonne and Nanterre Universities which was to lead to "Les Evenements" of May 1968.
"La Chinoise" focuses on a series of political and philosophical dialogues and debates between a group of young Maoists during the summer of 1967. They discuss ways and means to organise a Marxist revolution in France,including the creation of a student/worker alliance and political violence. The Maoist Cultural Revolution in China serves as the students inspiration.
The film is dated and of historical interest only, since the whole concept of a communist revolution has been effectively consigned to the dustin of history. "La Chinoise" is primarily Godard's audio-visual promotion of the left wing revolutionary agenda that was the inspiration behind the student protests and General Strike that almost overthrew De Gaulle's state in the spring of 1968. The film is about the exchange of ideas, not about human relationships and is a movie that informs but doesnt entertain.
After watching "La Chinoise" it is easy to see why the May 1968 revolt and why Western communist movements in general failed. The student vanguard of the socialist movement ("We'll do the thinking for them") were obsessed with copying the methods of successful revolutionaries in backward, agrarian countries which were mostly irrelevant in the context of advanced capitalist societies with their greater industrialisation, wealth ,technology and democracy. Godard was clearly impressed by these bourgeois communists and clearly enough bourgois communists must have been inspired by this film to try to put the philosophies of Guillaume, Veronique et al into practice a year later.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

La Chinoise [DVD]
La Chinoise [DVD] by Jean-Luc Godard (DVD - 2005)
Used & New from: £63.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews