La Chinoise (Blu-Ray)
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Jean-Luc Godard s ferocious run of ground breaking 1960s commercial features neared a terminus point as the filmmaker turned his gaze onto the nascent left-wing student organisations coalescing on university campuses across France and environs. The resulting film was his searing masterpiece La Chinoise a mordant satire, pedagogical treatise, political tract, and pop-artwork- plus blood rolled into one.
It s early 67 and Radio Peking s in the air for the Aden Arabie Cell, a Maoist collective holed up in a sprawling flat on Paris s rue de Miromesnil the newly purchased actual residence of Godard and then-wife and star Anne Wiazemsky. Véronique (Wiazemsky) and her comrades, including Jean-Pierre Léaud (The 400 Blows, Out 1) and Juliet Berto (Out 1, Céline and Julie Go Boating) lead a series of discussions and performative skits addressing matters of French colonialism, American imperialism, and the broader conflict raging in Vietnam. A meditation on the efficacy of violent protest and militant counteraction played out between Wiazemsky (conducted by Godard via radio-earpiece), and her then-tutor philosopher Francis Jeanson gives way to a plot to assassinate the Soviet minister of culture a red-handed point of no going-back on the path to complete radicalisation.
A tour-de-force of the primary-palette images the household images, perhaps of Godard s early career, La Chinoise serves as both cautionary tale and early sign of fascination with the political currents that would soon lead to the next period of JLG s life and work. The revolution is not a dinner-party.
– High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
– Original mono DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
– Optional English subtitles
– Audio commentary by film historian James Quandt
– Interviews with actor Michel Semeniako, assistant director Charles L. Bitsch and second assistant director Jean-Claude Sussfeld
– Denitza Bantcheva on La Chinoise, the author discusses the film and its politics
– Behind-the-Scenes TV Report featuring footage with Godard and the cast
– Venice Film Festival press conference featuring Godard and scenes from the production
– Theatrical trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
– FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet containing vintage writing by and discussions with Jean-Luc Godard and beyond: passing through the landmark Struggling on Two Fronts interview; the Two Hours with Jean-Luc Godard journal; notes on Anne Wiazemsky s 2012 memoir-novel Une année studieuse [A Studious Year]; a tribute to Wiazemsky, Léaud, and Berto; vintage archival imagery; newly translated material; and more.
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