Tout va bien

(Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin, France/Italy, 1972)


Sex-Pol and the Crisp Sound of a Cheque: Living Tout va bien Historically

Tout va bien (1972) by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin is a movie that gave the world of cinema, for a while during the 1970s, a new slogan: to live historically. This is both a statement of the way things are (we all live in history, we cannot help it), and of how they should be: we should consciously strive to live in history, in relation to our social surroundings – to not just be an individual, or a couple, or a family, but, at the very least, a class, a social class.

That is precisely the story which the film tells: the story of a couple (a media couple played by Yves Montand and Jane Fonda, him a filmmaker and her a radio journalist) who come into messy contact with the world – the political world of striking workers sequestered in a factory – and how that impacts them, how it changes them. Gorin even said, at the time, that the film’s working title was Love Story: in other words, the same old love story as in a million previous movies, but told differently, angled and manoeuvred differently, to a different and more radical goal.

Tout va bien begins with a split, a jump, a gap in historical time: the first things we see on screen are the words ‘France 1968’ and then ‘France 1972’. So it is a film ‘after the revolution’, asking the question of what has happened to the spark, the revolt of ’68: does it still burn? Or have we fallen into disillusionment, into melancholia, into a state of historic rollback or compromise?

It is the same question that is treated, in a very different key and from a very different perspective, by Olivier Assayas in Après mai (Something in the Air, 2012), another, essentially sad story of the 1970s, of how the radicalism of ‘68 (in Assayas’ view) lost its way in dogma, terrorism and extremism (extremism in theory – a rampant, elitist avant-gardism – as well as in practice); and in a lack of heart, of true humanist feeling and mutual respect.

But Godard and Gorin, in 1972, were coming from a very different place from Assayas, with a very different attitude: Gorin calls this attitude, non-judgementally, the madness of ’68, the spirit of anarchism – a Utopian program mixed with cheekiness and provocation, and a game sense of strategy about how to work in the social system as it is. And Tout va bien is, as a project, one huge provocation, an incredible act of irony and subversion at the heart of commercial French or European cinema in 1972.

Let us recall where Godard and Gorin had just been for the preceding three or four years before 1972 – and we need to remember to always add in Gorin, because he has suffered, many times over, the pain of having his collaboration with Godard simply erased from the history books, as if he was just some insignificant, passing assistant to the Great Man; or, even worse, blamed for everything that is supposedly wrong or bad, boring or misguided in Godard’s career between 1968 and 1972. As Gorin once said on a Film Festival stage in Melbourne: “I know what it’s like to be Yoko Ono in relation to John Lennon”.

In point of fact, Tout va bien was a film meticulously planned, in scripting and pre-production, equally by both Godard and Gorin – it may be the most pre-planned film Godard was ever involved with – and when the former was hospitalised after a very serious motorcycle accident (which affected his health for many years), it was the latter on the set, effectively directing the whole film. It is the job that really gave Gorin the taste for filmmaking, a taste for the material pleasure of it, leading to his later, sole works like Poto and Cabengo (1980) and Routine Pleasures (1986) – the wonderful films he made in America.

But let us return to the history lesson. Godard and Gorin first met at the start of 1967 (during the making of La Chinoise), and in 1969 officially formed the core or nucleus (alongside Jean-Henri Roger) of what they called the Dziga Vertov Group. This was the time, in their view, when cinema had to be razed to the ground, brought back to zero – and experiments had to begin from the ground up. So their films of the Dziga Vertov period – Struggles in Italy (1969), Wind from the East (1969), Vladimir and Rosa (1971) and others – are frankly laboratories, classrooms; Godard had started this process on his own with Le gai savoir in 1968, which is today a quite fascinating film to reconsider. (1) These are all films in which (and here I again paraphrase Gorin’s account of the period) they try to work out, step by step, what an image is, how an image goes with a sound, what a body on screen is, what a voice is, or a quoted text, or a graphic design, what is a colour – and how all of this can be done politically, conscientiously, knowingly.

During the Dziga Vertov period, Godard and Gorin effectively went underground – they became underground filmmakers of a very militant kind, and they did their best to drop out of the circuit of art cinema in which Godard was a star and a celebrity. As a result, not many people saw these Dziga Vertov Group films – certainly not in commercial art cinemas or on television – at the time they were made; only recently have they come back into circulation via several dedicated DVD labels in Europe. (2)

Within the context of underground militancy, Tout va bien was a gamble, an opportunistic move: Godard and Gorin decided to use what was left of Godard’s star image, his celebrity, to finance a big movie – far more expensive than the bargain-basement productions that had preceded it – and, furthermore, to attract two very big stars to be at the heart of it: Jane Fonda and Yves Montand. Both of them were political actors with left-wing associations and credentials; and both were eager – or at least curious – to give themselves to a project by the now loudly left-wing Godard.

In the event, the film shoot turned out to be quite an ordeal for both Fonda and Montand, and both considered abandoning it mid-way. (In Fonda’s autobiography, written many years later, she cannot even recall Gorin’s name or his creative function – only that some guy who was attached to Godard threatened her menacingly when she spoke about leaving the production.)

But the secret trap of Tout va bien – certainly for these two star actors – is the crucial displacement that it sets in motion: when the couple formed by Montand and Fonda’s characters gets stuck in a factory during a strike, it is the workers who take over the frame, the story and the speechifying – and, simultaneously, it is the extras, the bit players, who take over from the stars. Godard and Gorin proudly stated, at the time, that Montand and Fonda, as actors, felt exactly the same discomfort as their characters: they were muscled out of the centre of the movie.

So, to quote something Gorin said when he visited Australia in 1987: “Maybe it’s not a great movie, but it has moves, it makes moves – and you can’t say that about very many films”. And a move, in this sense given to the word by Gorin, is a gesture, a strategy, a powerful realignment or rearrangement of a given pattern in cinema.

There was a risk-taking spirit, a bold move involved in Godard and Gorin launching Tout va bien upon the cinema culture of 1972 – a game that did not quite pay off, on one level, since the film was a commercial failure, despite an enormous campaign that trumpeted ‘the return of Godard’ – and the film itself plays up to this expectation quite consciously, with its opening credits in classic Godardian colours of red, white and blue, and its early, parodic references to lines and shots from Le mépris (1963) and Bande à part (1964). Yet there was also a big risk for Godard and Gorin themselves, almost a Faustian pact, in jumping from the austere rigours of their Dziga Vertov films into the ‘commercial project’ of Tout va bien.

Here is a measure of what I mean. In 1970, Godard and Gorin did a long interview with the progressive American magazine Evergreen Review. In it, Godard and Gorin express their interest in – but also their uncertainty about – reintroducing into their hard-line cinematic experiments certain elements of conventional cinema: elements like emotion (the use of music, rousing political music, is something they particularly worry about), humour … and, above all, fiction, the narrative or storytelling element. They were suspicious of all this in the context of a militant, political cinema. (3)

As Peter Wollen astutely observed on the UK release of Passion (1982): Godard is willing to think of movie stars as a homage or tribute to the public, the mass audience of spectators; but he is not willing to think of stories in the same way. (4) His cinema has always evidenced a troubled relationship with fiction, and especially the onerous obligation that he has often felt imposed on him by the film industry to tell a story. (5)

Godard’s and Gorin’s agonised worry in 1970, their sense of trouble and doubt about letting these elements of emotion and fiction back in, is understandable when you read (or re-read) much of the theoretical and critical writing on film that was going around in the early ‘70s, ‘here and elsewhere’, in France and in many parts of the world. For instance, in her essentially negative, perhaps disappointed review of Tout va bien, the influential, deconstructive theorist Marie-Claire Ropars pronounced:

A truly political film would not speak about politics; it would demonstrate, through its structure, its intervention in the struggle and its choice of arms: instead of perpetuating the illusion of reality and the mechanisms of identification this provokes, a materialist fiction would thus inscribe on itself the conditions of its economic and technical, as well as ideological, production. (6)

What an injunction, what a forbidding taboo contained in those words of Ropars: do not perpetuate the illusion of reality and the mechanisms of identification! These are the type of ‘70s political words and passions which Assayas scoffs at from a very safe distance in Après mai – because he is totally in favour of creating the illusion of a world, and triggering our emotional identification with fictional characters, just like very many filmmakers who are in favour of these things (and do them well). But think of the enormity of this Marxist/Althusserian theoretical culture in Godard’s and Gorin’s minds in 1972, this sense they must have had of playing with fire – a fire that could just as easily turn around and burn them up, rather than the traditional networks of bourgeois cinema.

In Tout va bien, a world away from Vladimir and Rosa made not so long before it, they have a fictional world, fictional characters in a love story, and even movie stars. (It took Godard quite some years to get back to working with stars like Alain Delon or Gérard Depardieu, and it was almost always a difficult process for everyone involved.)

Ropars rightly remarks that Tout va bien, as a film text (to use another ‘70s buzzword), announces and offers itself “not as an object, but as a project” – not as a finished, sealed-off film, but, as it were, a film ‘in the making’, a film in a conditional or provisional tense, a virtual film. Nicole Brenez once remarked that the ‘three times’, the three temporalities, of Godard’s cinema, run as follows: the film you are watching has already been made (a love story, for instance, told a million times before); it is in the process of being made before your eyes (a perpetual project, an unfinished sketch); and, at the end, it still remains to be made, perhaps by someone else, somewhere else – so, for the moment, it’s abandoned, left suspended. (7) This unstable, paradoxical but highly dynamic structure of the three times is as true of Le mépris and Masculin féminin (1965) as it is of subsequent works such as Passion or Film Socialism (2010).

The challenge for Godard and Gorin, in taking onto themselves the dare of Tout va bien, is in somehow striking a balance: precisely between the film as a political project (with a militant, radical agenda), and the film as a narrative object (with its world, its characters, and its emotions). And this was a matter – a fundamental, eternal issue in much political cinema, then and now – of achieving and managing a balance, for the spectator, between involvement (empathy, identification, and so on) and distance, critical distance.

Here is where one of our oldest film-culture friends, Bertolt Brecht, enters the picture. Tout va bien is almost a textbook case of Brechtian cinema. It has been analysed as such (at length), celebrated as such (8) – and denigrated as such, by no less than Gorin himself, who declared on stage in Melbourne in 1987: “Tout va bien is so goddamn Brechtian, it makes me sick!” Only a few years after making the film – when Gorin was getting deeply into the philosophy of desire as described by Gilles Deleuzeand Félix Guattari – he was already disenchanted with the Brechtian drive behind Tout va bien, remarking, “It was crazy to think that this guy writing in the 1930s can tell us very much about the world we are living in today”. (9)

Almost everything in Tout va bien screams Brecht: from the square, frontal camera framing to the cut-away, doll’s house-like factory set (although that is also a tribute to Jerry LewisThe Ladies Man [1961]); from the long monologues addressed into the lens, to the self-interrogatory form, which has an unseen man and woman on the soundtrack debating this film project as it takes shape before our eyes and in our ears.

Yet the film moves – and it has moves. I know many people whose first passion for cinema – not just radical cinema or art cinema, but simply cinema – was ignited by their youthful viewing of Tout va bien in the ‘70s or ‘80s. (Later generations of students sometimes find the film harder to take, at least in my experience of teaching: it seems foreign to some of them, from another world that they do not quite understand and cannot really imagine. They prefer Wong Kar-wai, or Assayas; and their taste for Godard settles, variously, for the ‘60s, for the ‘80s, and for the Histoire(s) du cinéma [1988-98] series.)

For those who loved it or were in some way affected by it in the ‘70s, Tout va bien really was a return of early ‘60s Godard, at more than the level of just a canny promotional slogan. The montage, the famous long, lateral camera movements, the framing, the vibrant Pop Art colour scheme – all these things have enormous energy. The sensual pleasure in the filmmaking process shows, especially after the austere rigours of the Dziga Vertov blackboard-laboratory films (which tend to reproduce themselves in the tougher-to-watch monologue scenes of Tout va bien).

A sensual pleasure for the spectator, too: from my first teenage viewing of the film (more on this below), I recall, above all, the tone, the sensation, of the crisp sound of cheques being torn from a book, over and over, rhythmically, in the first moments of the film: is not this harsh but musical sound, this musique concrète, the authentic sound, perfectly condensed, of the cinema of Godard? (Gorin found his own signature sound elsewhere, and later: in the zany computerised narration of My Crasy Life [1992].)

Yet none of this sensual pleasure seemed like a compromise – neither an aesthetic nor a political compromise. After all, the film was literally showing us here its account ledger – which I guess is one good, very direct way to “inscribe on itself the conditions of its economic and technical, as well as ideological, production”, just as Ropars wished. Tout va bien indeed seemed, for a part of the ‘70s, to represent a merger – which turned out to be a fragile merger – between left-wing politics and cinematic pleasure.

* *

Two things about Tout va bien – and especially about the legacy of the film, its post-history or afterlife – particularly fascinate me. The first is that it marked – at least for Godard and Gorin themselves – a path that was taken only this once, and never again. As I have argued, the merger that the film represented (and achieved) was a fragile one. For various reasons, the Dziga Vertov Group folded, Godard and Gorin going their separate ways; and both men moved away from the inspiration of Brecht, or at any rate this particular form of Brechtian, political cinema. Godard plunged back, for several years, into another kind of underground invisibility, exploring video, and eventually television, before returning to cinema – one more time, in his eternal return – with Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980).

Gorin had various unfulfilled adventures post Tout va bien – including an ambitious project to adapt Ubik with science fiction’s god Philip K. Dick (10) – until he re-emerged with his essay-films, his hybrid documentaries of the 1980s, in America (where he has lived for a long time). It seems that, for neither of them, this difficult balancing act between political goals and mainstream entertainment, between project and object, between involvement and distance, was satisfactorily resolved – at least, not in any enabling, future-oriented way.

I have a hypothesis about this specific lack of a future, the absence of any sequel (as it were) for Tout va bien. It relates to what was called, in the radical climates of the 1970s, sex-pol – meaning, sex and politics combined, fused, in a radical programme of action. Or to say it in a wider, more general way, the fusion of the political and the personal – as in the feminist slogan, ‘the personal is the political’. This is a particular obsession – I would call it (non-pejoratively) a dream – that truly fills 1960s and especially ‘70s cinema, from Dušan Makavejev and Marco Ferreri to Glauber Rocha and Rainer Werner Fassbinder (although in Fassbinder, as in Jean Eustache, the dream is already coming apart, becoming difficult and sour).

Godard and Gorin were undoubtedly caught up in this dream of sex-pol. It is clear from all accounts that they were striving to reorganise every level of their lives – their working relationship, their personal relationships, their living arrangement, their economic set-up for filmmaking – along the lines of their politics. But the dream fell apart because there is ultimately something intimately terroristic and impossible about making every little aspect of your personal life (from “eating to fucking”, to use a line from the film) answerable to a court of correct-line politics. Many fled from what was worthwhile and Utopian and still possible in this political/personal challenge – including Godard himself, who by 1983, was cheekily answering questions about his politics with the statement: “Politics? What’s politics? Politics is a film made in Russia” – meaning, it was a dream he no longer dreamt, at least not in the same way.

We know that Godard never gave up being political, and that politics and cinema continue to go together for him; in fact, he intensified his angry politics, his sharply critical attitudes toward capital and nation-states – not to mention the politics of image and sound – by the 1990s. But some specific ‘70s form of the personal-political fusion was over.

The great Australian cultural writer Meaghan Morris once expressed this crack-up very well (she, too, had lived through it at the heart of feminist and queer groups and share-house communal living in the ‘70s): she stressed that the point is “not to argue that the ‘personal’ does not exist, nor is it to argue that the personal is not political. But it is to argue that the political is not only personal”. (11) Nonetheless, for at least one generation of radicals, the personal/political formula led to an extended period of its members torturing themselves – and each other – with this fatal misunderstanding.

The second thing that fascinates me about the afterlife of Tout va bien is how it was taken up, over time, in other parts of the world, such as in my own birth country of Australia. Often this occurred with a time lag, like that gap marked at the start of the film itself between 1968 and 1972. Because Tout va bien became a kind of specialised cult film for Americans, for the British, for Canadians and for Australians around 1975, 1976, 1977: when the subtitled 16 millimetre prints (of Tout va bien and also its companion film, Letter to Jane [1972]) finally arrived in universities, in film clubs, and also in political groups of various kinds – radical theatre groups, workers’ art groups, trade union groups, feminist and queer consciousness groups. It was – finally, after this time-lag of three, four or five years – a hit, in a certain kind of way, for a certain sector of cinema culture. It hit the spot of what people were interested in, concerned with, what they were passionate about exploring.

Elsewhere, back in Paris, the critic Serge Daney was pronouncing, à propos Godard’s stark film-video experiment Numéro deux (1975), that “Godard re-invents cinema for us every few years” (12) and that meant, by god(ard), we had all better keep up with him; but we in Anglo film culture did not yet know much about Godard’s video revolution yet in 1975 and, truth be told, we did not much care.

A little autobiography, in this living-historically context: I first saw Tout va bien in 1975 at the tender age of 15, not in a cinema, but in a theatre-in-the round space belonging to a left-wing group of actors in the suburb of Carlton in Melbourne, just next to the University of Melbourne. During the screening, there were dogs wandering in and out of the projector beam, a 16mm machine loudly whirring two feet from my head (while I was laying awkwardly on the floor, because there was no formal seating), and people spiritedly debating the movie while it was still on the screen (which was merely an available white wall).

In fact, in terms of a media archaeology, Tout va bien has only ever existed for me in 16 millimetre, on VHS and most recently on its Criterion DVD; I saw it for the first time in glorious 35 millimetre at the Deutsches Filminstitut in Frankfurt in May 2013, after delivering to the assembled throng the initial version of the text you are now reading.

Over a quarter of a century after my initial 16mm viewing in Carlton of Tout va bien, the independent filmmaker Nigel Buesst made an absorbing video documentary-memoir, a memoir about filmmaking in Australia – the real filmmaking, not the commercial, mainstream stuff. He gave this essay-video a wonderful title: Carlton + Godard = Cinema (2003).

As for me, I still hold the proof that, when I went home from Carlton on that bright summer day in Melbourne in ‘75, dazed and confused but also very exhilarated by what I had seen and experienced, I wrote in my diary these ominous, life-and-death words: “One must choose between Tout va bien and Rio Bravo” – Rio Bravo being the great, classic Western made by Howard Hawks near the end of the Hollywood studio era in 1959, starring John Wayne and Angie Dickinson.

When Godard (with or without Gorin) re-invents the cinema, and when you are in the time and place to get hit by it, it is always a crisis, it seems: a good kind of crisis, a shake-up of all preconceptions and assumptions and expectations – a shock of the new. I want to pay homage to that historic sense of crisis here, because it is one of the things that tends to disappear from certain contemporary retrospections, such as that of Assayas.

So what on earth was this little guy (i.e., me) thinking in his teeming, 15-year-old, cinephile brain when he wrote that startling sentence in his diary, “One must choose between Tout va bien and Rio Bravo”? I will give you the context. The early 1970s were indeed a time of crisis and transition in film studies and criticism in the English-speaking world, as elsewhere. My model of great film analysis at the time was, for example, Robin Wood, the great humanist and aesthete who had been a student under the literary giant F. R. Leavis at Cambridge in the UK. My teacher, when I began university studies in Australia in 1977, was a brilliant critic named Tom Ryan, who had done his Masters thesis (on Douglas Sirk) supervised by Wood at Warwick University in the UK; and Tom was in the same elite group of students as Andrew Britton, another highly gifted critic, who died, far too early in his career, from AIDS-related illness.

Ryan showed Tout va bien to all his classes in the late ‘70s (and I was there as a student); Wood and Britton wrote long, passionate articles about it. Tout va bien, it is clear, prompted a critical crisis of conscience for all of them. The film had thrown down a gauntlet: could they go on loving the (not so innocent) films of Howard Hawks or Alfred Hitchcock or Otto Preminger in quite the same way – indeed, did these Hollywood films need to be disavowed, criticised, or at the very least completely re-read and re-written?

But old habits die hard: when I look over, today, what Wood and Britton wrote about Tout va bien, I see that they got it, in a sense, all wrong – or rather, that they saw the film they wanted to see, the film they projected or imagined in their own heads (which is an occupational hazard, or perhaps a precondition, of all film criticism and analysis). This happened because they wanted a real love story in Tout va bien; they wanted the illusion, the empathetic mechanism of identification; they wanted to believe in the Fonda and Montand characters as, in some way, real screen people with a problem, and conscientiously working through that problem with a new, left-wing consciousness. Fictional but fully rounded human beings, not just figures, quotations or mouthpieces for sampled social discourses – as the more hard-theory English Brechtians of the time (like Colin MacCabe or Stephen Heath of the influential journal Screen) were claiming in relation to the film and political cinema in general. (13)

Here is what Robin Wood wrote about the importance of Tout va bien:

[T]he film is strongest in its complex use of Yves Montand and Jane Fonda (simultaneously fictional characters/personalities/star images) and its exploration of the issues to which they are central. […] Tout va bien is Godard’s most authentically Brechtian film, achieving radical force and analytical clarity without sacrificing pleasure and a degree of emotional involvement. (14)

Note: to which they are central! But what about the workers? And the young (probably student) militants in the grand supermarket finale (Anne Wiazemsky among them)? What about the displacement of the stars by the worker-extras? Remember, it is not really meant to be a love story at all – at least, according to the filmmakers themselves. Nonetheless, Wood and Britton are full of praise for what they see as the finely nuanced, psychological portrayals by Montand and Fonda of their characters. Montand, for Britton, “conveys brilliantly a sort of testy, defensive wariness”, while for Wood the way Fonda says “yeah” or “sure” expresses a smug complacency, a self-satisfaction that must be broken apart.

In a telling moment of critique, Britton faults the film for the way it presents the factory boss played by Vittorio Caprioli, almost in commedia dell’arte mode – which is, in fact, very close to the satirical traditions of political theatre popular at the time. For Britton, however, this acting performance (and its direction by Godard and Gorin) amounts to “a tone of facile caricature totally at odds with the prevailing complexity of the film” – and he cites this as the film’s main failing or weakness. (15)

Well! The Oxbridge ghost of Leavis is back with us again in these fine Anglo texts on Tout va bien: the film has to be artistically coherent and complex, and, for Wood, “The central task of Godard criticism, in fact, is to sort out the remarkable and salutary nature of the positive achievement from the temperamental limitations that flaw it”. (16) By temperamental limitations, Wood literally means Godard’s personal flaws, his bad, naughty moods that overrun, overdetermine and undermine his film work.

What were Godard’s temperamental limitations, in Wood’s view? Very exactly: his anarchistic streak, his taste for adolescent provocation, and his extremism. But I would like to stick up here for the oft-abused cult of Godard – a cult that, the world over, displays much love for these supposedly problematic qualities of anarchism, provocation and extremism. I do not intend cult in a negative way, to indicate the empty, fetishistic worshipping of a celebrity star or a guru. Godard does attract this type of empty adoration, no doubt. But that is, ultimately, unimportant. What is remarkable is that Godard and his cinema have the capacity to inspire truly creative cinephilic cults: in writers, filmmakers, designers (of publications or fashions), architects – you name it. These various agents extract pieces from Godard’s cinema – images, lines, layouts, settings, moves of every kind – and then put them to work in some other place and some other time, in some other way, maybe after a quite long, historic delay.

I am aware of only two magazines in the history of film criticism that are named after particular filmmakers, while not being devoted only to those filmmakers: the Swedish Chaplin (1959-1997); and the Peruvian Godard! (2001-2016). Chaplin in Sweden, Godard in Perú: can there possibly be any better map of the cinema globe, of the incessant re-creation of a cinema culture? Carlton plus Godard equals Cinema in Australia; just as, in Germany, Hellmuth Costard (1940-2000), in the late 1970s, dared to call himself “the little Godard”.

The actual individual named Jean-Luc Godard once said an inspired and inspiring thing: “I like to think of myself as an airplane, not an airport”. That means: he does not really want us to gather in worship of him; rather he wants us to fly off, maybe taking some piece of him in our mobile toolbox of tricks. And there are still seats available for flights taking off from the historic memory of Tout va bien.

This essay first appeared, in German translation, in Vinzenz Hediger & Rembert Hüser (eds), Jean Luc Godard: Film denken nach der Geschichte des Kinos (Brill/Fink, 2023).

MORE Godard: À bout de souffle, Aria, Hélas pour moi, For Ever Mozart, Soigne ta droite, Éloge de l’amour, Vivre sa vie, Made in USA, Alphaville


1. See (or rather, hear) my two different DVD audio commentaries on Le gai savoir: the Australian 2009 release (Madman), and the American 2017 edition (Kino Lorber). back

2. For a reflection on the conditions of viewing these then-rare films during the ‘70s, see my “Dans les archives de ...” in Hors champ (May-June 2023). back

3. Interview with Godard & Gorin by Kent E. Carroll, “Film and Revolution: Interview with the Dziga Vertov Group”, in Royal S. Brown (ed.), Focus on Godard (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1972), pp. 50-64; originally in Evergreen Review, no. 83 (October 1970) – the magazine’s (in)famous publisher, Barney Rosset, put money into Vladimir and Rosa. back

4. Peter Wollen, “Passion (1)”, Framework, no. 21 (1983), p. 4. back

5. See “The Trouble with Fiction: An Aspect of Post New Wave French Cinema”, in my Mysteries of Cinema: Reflections on Film History, Theory and Culture 1982-2016 (Amsterdam University Press, 2018; University of Western Australia Publishing, 2020). back

6. Marie-Claire Ropars, “Une fiction materialiste”, Esprit (June 1972), pp. 1059-1063 (translation mine). back

7. See Nicole Brenez, “The Forms of the Question”, in Michael Temple, James Williams & Michael Witt (eds.), For Ever Godard (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2004), pp. 160-177. back

8. See Kristin Thompson, “Sawing Through the Bough: Tout va bien as a Brechtian Film”, in her Breaking the Glass Armor: Neoformalist Film Analysis (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1988), pp. 110-131. back

9. From an interview with Gorin by Martin Walsh, “Godard and Me: Jean-Pierre Gorin Talks”, Take One, Vol. 5, no. 1 (1976); amusingly, the interview was reprinted in the posthumous collection of Walsh’s writings, The Brechtian Aspect of Radical Cinema (London: British Film Institute, 1981). back

10. Dick’s screenplay for Ubik was published by Corroboree Press in 1985. back

11. Meaghan Morris, The Pirate’s Fiancée: Feminism, Reading, Postmodernism (London: Verso, 1988), p. 110. back

12. See the program notes assembled in The Thousand Eyes, no. 2 (1977). back

13. See the special Edinburgh Film Festival publication, Brecht and Cinema (1975). There is an intriguing reflection on this period in Colin MacCabe’s blog for Critical Quarterly, 28 February 2010. back

14. Robin Wood, “Godard, Jean-Luc”, at Film Reference website. back

15. Andrew Britton, “Living Historically: Two Films by Jean-Luc Godard”, in Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton (Wayne State University Press, 2009), pp. 348-365. back

16. Wood, “Godard, Jean-Luc”. back

© Adrian Martin May 2013 / July 2023

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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