DOUBLE FEATURE by Greil Marcus


Movies and Politics
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Two efforts at uniting art and revolution. The first, an extended interview with French director Jean-Luc Godard and his associate Jean Gorin who discuss the goals of their recently constituted film group; the second, a film script ("written to be read not filmed") of the Soledad Brothers prison break and the life and death of Jonathan Jackson. Neither venture succeeds beyond stylized oddity. Godard, intent on demystifying his work and his status as an important "new wave" director, offhandedly debunks his early films, including La Chinoise and Weekend, as hopelessly bourgeois ventures and fumbles toward an inchoate Marxist-Leninist cinema which will include "paying everyone equally, in order to end the hierarchy." Various revolutionary attempts -- British Sounds, East Wind, and a work-in-progress on the al-Fateh (none currently accessible to American movie-goers) -- are deemed partially successful efforts to "organize ourselves in a new way" but what it all boils down to in terms of financing, filming, and editing remains highly abstract. This Is It: The Marin Shoot-Out plays on the Yippie notion of revolution as theater ("it looked like a prison break movie") and features a Dostoevsky-inspired Detective who reads Malraux's Man's Fate while trying to decipher the significance of the event. O.K. as an experimental work-shop exercise but not for the average film-goer seeking entertainment. Actors recalcitrant, camera twitchy, story-line dim.
Pub Date: April 14th, 1972
ISBN: 0876900740
Publisher: Outerbridge & Lazard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1972


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