Doug Enaa Greene and Shalon van Tine, A Fight on Two Fronts: On Jean-L uc Godard’s La Chinoise

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at
Wed Aug 28 18:43:41 MDT 2019

Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise (1967) is not an ordinary film. On the surface, La Chinoise seems simple enough: it tells the story of French students in the 1960s who form a Maoist collective, live together, have political discussions, and eventually turn to revolutionary violence. However, the film is difficult to follow since it not only lacks a coherent narrative structure, but the viewer is bombarded with slogans, images, and ideas on everything from popular culture to revolutionary politics. Anyone who attempts to analyze their meaning will easily feel buried by all the sights and sounds that Godard packs into it. Considering the chaotic nature of La Chinoise, the slogan found at the beginning — “We should replace vague ideas with clear images” — may well appear out of place, if not ironic.

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Jim Farmelant 
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