Tout va bien

b. April 17, 1943, Paris, France

filmography
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articles in Senses

Jean-Pierre Gorin first achieved international attention through his collaborations with Jean-Luc Godard as the Dziga Vertov Group. This association has brought him both celebrity and neglect: those who admire the films of the “Vertov period” often attribute their virtues to Godard with scant or no reference to Gorin; and many that dislike them often view Gorin as a punk who led the master astray while riding his coattails. This controversy tends to overshadow and ignore the small but impressive body of work that Gorin has produced since parting with Godard in 1973. To be sure, circumstances have made these films all too easy to overlook: there are only three features and a pair of related video works, along with a number of aborted or never-begun projects, made at intervals of years, distributed spottily, and of deliberate modesty.

These solo films, however, may well prove as important as the collaborations with Godard. What they lose in provocation and extremity they gain back in charm and in complexity of form and nuance: they stand among the most ingenious and potentially fertile contributions to the genre of “film essay.” They are characterized by a resolute fidelity to the local, revealed with tenderness and humor, and are personal and engaging in ways unimaginable in the Vertov-period works. These three films: Poto and Cabengo (1978), Routine Pleasures (1986) and My Crasy Life (1991) deserve to be much more widely seen and discussed; and the videos Letter to Peter and a record of Olivier Messiaen’s opera St. François d’Assise (both 1992) open up new areas which one hopes Gorin will have the opportunity to explore further.

Gorin was born on April 17, 1943 in Paris; his parents were Jewish leftists, his father a respected (and Trotskyite) doctor, his mother a woman of considerable intelligence and somewhat unpredictable energy. After a turbulent but studious adolescence, Gorin received his baccalaureate in Philosophy in 1960, subsequently enrolling at the Sorbonne. Here he took part in the seminars of Louis Althusser (including that defining the theory of the ideological state apparatus), Jacques Lacan, and Michel Foucault. In addition, from 1965 to 1968, Gorin was an editor at Le Monde newspaper, helping create its weekly literary supplement, Le Monde des livres. In this period, he wrote dozens of articles, contributing to the political and aesthetic debates that would lead eventually to the upheaval of May 1968.

Gorin first met Godard in 1967. At this time Godard was becoming increasingly interested in the younger generation and, by extension, in radical politics, as Masculin féminin (1966) indicates. Gorin was a perfect contact, as one of the most articulate and engaged of France’s young New Left. For his part Gorin had been a cinéphile since his youth, and the formal and political rigor of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s Nicht Versöhnt (1965) had stimulated his desire to make films. Gorin came to befriend Godard: he advised Godard on La Chinoise (1967), as someone with first-hand practical and theoretical experience of emergent leftist militancy; and was present during at least some of the shooting of Le Gai savoir (1968).

In the aftermath of May 1968 Godard turned his back on the conventional film industry, to make films reflecting a new political commitment and developing a new practice, a way of “making films politically,” not merely promulgating Leftist ideas within a traditional, and hence discredited, aesthetic. The need was “to return to zero,” as Le Gai savoir had announced, to “build images” from scratch and to “combat the tyranny of image over sound.” (1) With the sporadic assistance of several younger apprentices, including Gorin and Jean-Henri Roger, Godard created Un Film comme les autres (1968), British Sounds (1968), and Pravda (1969), films of an aggressive technical leanness and political stridency. These films began to be signed by the “Dziga-Vertov Group,” a name chosen to pay homage to the then-neglected master of Soviet film, to his radical politics and his exposure of film’s material and formal foundations, his dismantling of cinematic illusion.

Although this name apparently originated with Gorin, the first “Vertov films” were fundamentally Godard’s own work. However, a turning point came with Vent d’est (1969). Godard and Gorin went to Italy to film a Western in collaboration with a number of prominent Leftists, including activist Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Brazilian filmmaker Glauber Rocha and spaghetti Western star/communist Gian Maria Volonte. This collaboration quickly dwindled through general indiscipline into a joint effort by Godard and Gorin, and inaugurated a period of truly joint authorship that would encompass Lotte in Italia (1969), Vladimir et Rosa (1971), Tout va bien (1972), and Letter to Jane (1972); Ici et ailleurs (1975) can be considered an appendix to this body of work. Parcelling out authorial responsibilities in these films is difficult, and, indeed, contrary to their intentions: Gorin has remarked that they arose from a “constant exchange of ideas” that aimed at a fundamental “transformation of practice,” a repudiation of the auteurism which Godard had helped formulate. (2) Be that as it may, it seems that at least Lotte in Italia and Tout va bien are, if anything, more Gorin’s than Godard’s, and that in the others creative responsibility was fairly equal. (3) The two filmmakers were working together daily, not only on these larger films but on smaller projects: there were “news reports,” shown daily in Paris, which included interviews and skits (Juliet Berto in a bathtub explaining the Vietnam War); and also proposals for advertisements, at least one of which was actually filmed, as a source of money.

Although Gorin remains proud of the Vertov films, it is hardly for their ideological purity: to this extent, these films, as he once characterized the militants in La Chinoise, are marked by a “cretinistic seriousness,” (4) all too premonitory of the pompous puritanism of much subsequent political art. More durable are their formal beauty, (5) their daring, their emphasis on soundtrack over image, their accuracy as time capsules, their humor (evident at least from Vladimir et Rosa on, although often unremarked), and what could be called their proto-punk “do it yourself” ethos. Most of these features are far removed from the academic discourse and practice which have constituted the principal legacy of these films, and of which Gorin is largely dismissive: for Gorin, to read these films principally for their political message is uninteresting, even beside the point. To be sure, it is difficult to believe that the political content of Vent d’est, for example, is ironical or incidental; and the arrogance of Gorin and Godard’s public persona at the time (see Ralph Thanhauser’s Godard in America documentary [1970]), including their apparent hostility to cinematic tradition and conventions, has not aged well. Still, the Vertov films remain extremely rewarding, and deserve renewed attention.

It has taken me some time to see Vent d’est freshly: my initial encounters with the film were with nth-generation video dupes of an American version with an appalling voiceover (in which L’Humanité becomes “human-nite”). Given the ugliness and indecipherability of sound and image, one relied heavily both on the published script and on the famous essays on the film by such writers at Peter Wollen, which seemed to celebrate it for purveying what Gilberto Perez has called “militant unpleasure,” an unrelenting negation of any aesthetic values as inadmissibly treacherous superstructure (6). This grimly ideological doggedness is part of Vent d’est, but only part: what is most crucial in the film, as can be seen in the lovely Japanese DVD release, is its unresolved dialectic between verbal ideology and visual beauty, in which each stands as a critique of the other. If the soundtrack denounces the American imperialist Griffith, the lush natural splendour of the almost static opening shots make one think of Griffith’s last interview:

What the modern movie lacks is beauty – the beauty of moving wind in the trees, the little movement in a beautiful blowing on the blossoms in the trees. That they have forgotten entirely…. In my arrogant belief, we have lost beauty (7).

Vent d’est is an exceptionally rich film, if one takes the time both to see and hear, and to set aside the rhetoric surrounding it – as an extension and subversion of the Western, revealing and interrogating its implicit ideologies, as a document of the possibilities and dangers of the revolutionary project (as in the chilling sequence about terrorism near the end, in which Pop still-lifes descending from Deux ou trois choses que je sais d’elle [1966] become diagrams of home-made explosives), and for the complex intersections of formal beauty with loaded and refractory content.

Where Vent d’est is wide-ranging and heterogeneous, Lotte in Italia is tight, disciplined, even elegant: Gorin has described its structure as resembling a deck of cards, proceeding by juxtapositions and substitutions of more or less static panels to articulate an Althusserian analysis of the ideologies underpinning a young Italian militant’s existence. By contrast, Vladimir et Rosa, a reflection on the Chicago 8 trial as political theatre, is the wildest and most miscellaneous of the Vertov films, its reckless abundance of materials, skits, implications: it is scattershot, but exuberant, and includes some of Gorin and Godard’s most significant meditations on the construction of a new cinematic language, cast, often enough, in disarmingly comic guise.

To my mind, however, the greatest films to emerge from the collaboration are the last three: Tout va bien, Letter to Jane, and Ici et ailleurs. Tout va bien is, for obvious reasons, the most “professional” of the Vertov films. Gorin and Godard wanted to work again on a larger and more “popular” scale. To this end, they secured two stars from the Left, Yves Montand and Jane Fonda; devised a narrative; and built a set—a sausage factory headquarters during a strike. Having accepted these concessions, Gorin and Godard play with them cunningly: for much of the film the stars function as extras, while other “nonstars” assume center stage; the stars’ “love story,” once it emerges, fixes their romance solidly in the context of their jobs (as film director and journalist respectively), and thus within the hypocrisies of commercial culture; and the set, in tribute to Jerry Lewis’ The Ladies’ Man (1961), is a cutaway functioning as another Brechtian Verfremdungseffekt. Such strategies make a film whose formal complexity matches a new variety of discourse: Gorin and Godard here allow boss, unionist, and radical striker all to speak for themselves, giving us more freedom to weigh their respective positions. This freedom is welcome, though it also indicates a loss of fervor. As Gorin has said, Tout va bien is a film of 1972, not of 1968; and the bleakness of its concluding travelling shot underlines the inadequacy of the revolutionary actions that it depicts, the passing of the revolutionary moment. (8)

One last blast of hard militant theory, Letter to Jane has received especially bad press, as “insufferable” and humorless. (9) I find it both funny and revelatory. The film is a 50-minute meditation on a single photograph of Jane Fonda in Vietnam. Passing the narration between them, and juxtaposing Fonda’s image with other photographs, Gorin and Godard reflect on the function of Fonda and this image within the Western media’s representation of the Vietnamese struggle for self-determination. Some have claimed that the filmmakers are unfair and misogynist in their criticism of their erstwhile collaborator; on the contrary, they are repeatedly at pains to distinguish Fonda as person from the social role they criticize. Further, the excessively pedantic mode of argumentation (proceeding, for example, from “Elements of Elements” to “Elementary Elements”), while no doubt a serious attempt to argue logically, mocks its own absolutism (though few, such as James Monaco, seem to perceive the irony). (10) Letter to Jane remains, in Susan Sontag’s words, “a model lesson on how to read any photograph, how to decipher the un-innocent nature of a photograph’s framing, angle, focus;” (11) in addition, it is full of provocative insights, especially into the history of film acting, and the eclipse of the silent actor’s “materialism” by a vacuous style of “heavy thinking,” which Gorin and Godard link directly to an ineffectual Western liberalism.

Ici et ailleurs

Ici et ailleurs, completed by Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, is perhaps the most complex of all of these works, a stunning reflection on the Palestinian resistance, on the political dimensions of sound and image, and on the failure of European radicalism after 1968. Commissioned by the Arab League in 1970 to make a film to be entitled Jusqu‚à la victoire, Gorin and Godard shot footage in Jordan of Al Fatah. Later that year, most of the people they had filmed, and whose guests they had been, were killed by the Jordanian army in Black September, rendering the working title grotesquely irrelevant and utterly changing the significance of the footage. Eventually Godard, Gorin and Miéville combined this material with trenchant critiques of the strategies of both the revolutionaries and the filmmakers, drawing from the latter a direct connection to a European Left more interested in struggles other than their own and to the coercive and ubiquitous nature of mass communications, in which “chains of images enslaving other images” come to condition and constitute human consciousness. Ici et ailleurs is one of the greatest of all political films, achieving an extraordinary formal density with its layered images, sounds, and histories, as well as a political lucidity that remains all too relevant today.

The Vertov period had been intensely productive and exciting; but Gorin needed to strike out on his own. He was still very much in Godard’s shadow; further, he felt stifled by politics and theory, and wanted to explore new areas. In an interview with Martin Walsh, Gorin identified his favorite American filmmaker as Russ Meyer and remarked: “I’m no longer trying to be a Brechtian. The very idea of trying to think through the lenses of a guy who was thinking in the thirties seems to me, now, extraordinarily backward. I’m hardly even a Marxist anymore, so it opens my space a little.” (12)

Gorin’s first solo film is now lost. Entitled L’Ailleurs immédiat, it was largely complete when the drug arrest of its leading actress stalled production; faced with an indeterminate delay, the producers blithely melted the film down for its silver content. This destruction is to be intensely regretted: on one hand, one wonders how Gorin’s career may have developed if the film had been completed and released; and, on the other, the film is likely to have been fascinating. The title’s allusion to Georges Bataille indicates the direction Gorin was taking; according to him, L’Ailleurs was sexually and psychologically uncompromising, leading Godard to dub it, in contradistinction to Bertolucci’s controversial but comparatively safe Ultima tango a Parigi (Last Tango in Paris, 1972), “the Anti-Tango.” Gorin himself played the lead; his descriptions of some of the film’s action, in which he recites passages from Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals while getting tattooed, or masturbates while hanging outside an upper-story window on a Paris street, perhaps give some idea of the extremity (and zaniness) of the project. Coinciding with, and in some way motivating, this work was the continued deterioration of the revolutionary spirit of May 1968; Gorin has spoken of the increasingly fragmented and deranged nature of the militant Left, and of his desire to distance himself from it. Perhaps L’Ailleurs immédiat would have been the Dionysian counterpart to Jean Eustache’s cold and objective dissection of the ’60s aftermath in La Maman et la putain (1973).

In any case, after the forced incompletion of L’Ailleurs, Gorin left Europe, and, in 1975, accepted Manny Farber’s invitation to join the faculty of the University of California at San Diego, where Gorin has remained to the present day. With Farber Gorin developed a strong and enduring friendship: in Farber’s words, they became “twin brains.” Farber had long been both an impressive painter as well as one of America’s leading film critics: he was one of the first serious advocates of such “action directors” as (Anthony) Mann, Fuller, and Hawks; more recently, he had become an equally astute observer of such avant-gardists as Snow, Straub and Huillet, Fassbinder, and Godard. Gorin’s appointment at UCSD involved him in a nourishing dialogue with both Farber and his wife and collaborator Patricia Patterson. In addition, Gorin enjoyed university life: certainly his brilliant and idiosyncratic lectures and mentoring have been indispensable to several generations of art and film students at UCSD. However, one regrets that academia has absorbed so much energy that could have been spent making films.

Gorin’s directorial ambitions, however, did not end with his teaching career. He wanted to break into Hollywood, and found work on Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979) although his role in this legendarily chaotic project came to little more than instructing Frederic Forrest in the intricacies of French cuisine. Still, Gorin was hopeful that Francis Ford Coppola might support him in a project of his own. He had obtained the rights to a number of works by the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick; and, further, Dick had prepared for Gorin an extraordinarily detailed treatment of his novel Ubik. Neither Coppola nor George Lucas, however, would back the project, and Gorin had the bitter experience both of watching his options lapse on this and other properties.

If Gorin was frustrated in Hollywood, he fortunately had the opportunity to explore documentary. Soon, funded by West German television, he began the first film of what would become a trilogy about language, arrested development, and cultural displacement in Southern California: Poto and Cabengo.

Letter to Jane

Poto approaches the theme of “children and language” through the case of two young San Diego twins, Gracie and Ginny Kennedy, who had apparently invented a private language. Actually, this language was a pidgin form of the German and English they heard in their relative isolation at home. Gorin traces this subject in every direction: the news coverage of the twins, which dwindles from inaccurate hype to nonexistence; the official opinions of child psychologists and linguists; the social ambitions of the twins’ unhappy and financially precarious family. In addition, Gorin eschews those recurrent alternative presumptions of documentary film, of neutral reportage or of Godlike omniscience: rather, he enters the story himself as a decidedly inexpert investigator, a comic Philip Marlowe; and his growing involvement with the twins, introducing them to the world, becomes another strand in the film’s “plural narrative.” From this complex network of forces, Gorin reveals much about the allure and pressures of an elusive American dream; about the social nature of language; about the displaced legacies of emigration. And, while keeping these large subjects in play, Gorin never loses sight either of the humanity of his subjects—he does not condescend to the pathetic parents—or of the film’s formal complexity, which constantly varies its permutations of sound, written text, and image, often, as in the Vertov period, privileging the first. Formally and thematically, the film is a virtuoso piece of polyphony, all the more remarkable for never losing its lightness of touch, even as it grazes profundity and tragedy. (13)

Gorin’s next work after Poto is my favorite of his solo films, Routine Pleasures. If Poto was about children and language, Routine Pleasures makes of its investigation of “men and imagination” in 1980s America “a small-scale epic,” in Gorin’s words, a remake of Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks, 1939). (14) Gorin’s principal subject is a group of model train enthusiasts who meet weekly at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in Southern California: their miniature landscapes preserve a lost, perhaps illusory America, and their obsession curiously entwines work and childhood. Gorin weaves this subject with another: his friend and mentor Manny Farber. Farber doesn’t appear, except in photographs; but his paintings and words (and such preoccupations as Jimmy Cagney) do; and Gorin, again assuming the persona of bemused investigator, shuttles between these strands with effortless ingenuity. The film’s intersecting narratives function like the crossing tracks of the train set, or the lines of force of Farber’s paintings, establishing nodes of resemblance and resonance; and all the while Gorin assesses American identity, its experience of geography and frontier, of masculinity, of history, of the relation of private and collective. Like Poto, Routine Pleasures is notable for its lightness and charm, although the polyphony here is if anything more intricate than in its predecessor. One should also mention Babette Mangolte’s excellent cinematography, marvellously nuanced both in black and white and in color. For Routine Pleasures, Gorin won the award for Best Experimental Documentary at the Festival dei Popoli in Florence.

Again, academic obligations were a principal reason for the delay before Gorin’s next film. My Crasy Life (which won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 1992) rounds off his California trilogy with an exploration of the life of a Samoan gang in Long Beach. This is perhaps the most difficult of Gorin’s solo films, deliberately intervening in the reality it documents more frequently and elusively than its predecessors, and forgoing the orientation hitherto provided by Gorin’s traditional persona of investigator. Rather as Jean Rouch had done in Moi, un noir (1959), Gorin invites his subjects to collaborate actively in his representation of them, most evidently in some obviously acted scenes, but more subtly as well, as in apparently spontaneous but actually scripted monologues. In addition, Gorin widens the scope from merely documenting daily life in Long Beach: several gangsters go to Samoa and encounter their cultural origins, both in family and in fantasy. Even science fiction intrudes in the ruminations of a computer in a sympathetic cop’s patrol car; these musings stand in, perhaps, for the missing Gorin character, but disrupt the film’s tone. Despite such flights, My Crasy Life resists all sensationalism: there is no spectacular violence, nor any romanticizing or demonizing of its subjects. One is struck instead by the gangsters’ curious innocence, and by the normative tedium of their existence, from which Gorin manages to invent a texture whose complexity only unfolds itself over repeated viewings.

Since My Crasy Life, Gorin has “focused on the possibility of rethinking film narrative along musical structural lines.” Musicality has in various ways long been a concern of Gorin: one thinks of his intelligent choice of music in his films (Erroll Garner and Mozart played by Gould in Poto, Conlon Nancarrow in Routine, Joji Yuasa’s intermittent but elegant score for My Crasy Life), but, more essentially, of the emphasis on the soundtrack already characteristic of the Vertov films, and of the rhythmic and polyphonic structures of his solo works. Letter to Peter (1992), a feature-length video built around Peter Sellars’ staging of Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise in Salzburg, is a kind of etude extending and synthesizing these concerns. However, it is not as rich as his films: perhaps reflecting a certain impatience with Sellars (evidenced by welcome if somewhat rude fast-forwards during some of his monologues), it doesn’t completely integrate its often interesting views of the rehearsal process with its larger speculations on music and creation. More successful, if less ambitious, is Gorin’s record of the performance, made for Österreichischer Rundfunk, which makes Sellars’ staging (to my mind questionable) as effective as live video can register.

In any case, these two direct engagements with music itself have sharpened Gorin’s interest in filmic musicality; and among his current projects are soundtracks built as a primary layer, to which images will be added later, reversing usual filmic practice. Gorin has also been writing filmscripts and stories; and in 2001 he directed a workshop in Japan with a number of young Japanese artists. Here, in collaboration with the students and with painter/videographer Ryuta Nakajima, he shot footage for a projected video “E-mail” tribute to his friends and elders Godard and Chris Marker. In the past months, Gorin has at last begun shaping this footage: one is glad that Gorin’s exchange of ideas and enthusiasm with this younger generation, and the growing international interest in his work, have helped renew his own creative energy, and one hopes that the intermittent rhythm of Gorin’s production will become more steady.

Tout va bien

If Godard has fashioned himself into “the ultimate image of the end of Europe” (as Charles Olson once wrote of Ezra Pound), Gorin has done something more modest. Each of his films chews on recurrent themes—of childhood or nostalgia for childhood, of language and exile—with intensely local concentration. If Marker’s Sans Soleil (1982) or The Last Bolshevik (1993) expand grandly from their immediate subjects to the illumination of History, Gorin’s burrow instead into their locality. Since the generalizing rhetoric of the Vertov period, Gorin has allergically avoided “large statements”: instead, his work is allied with, and tender and inquisitive toward, the small, the individualizing detail. It is, in Manny Farber’s words, “termite art,” “eating its own boundaries,” leaving “nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity.” (15) In this very modesty, Gorin’s work is perhaps of special importance in a time dominated by the soulless and grandiose spectacles of Hollywood, and by the cynicism and affectlessness of so much “independent” film. Instead, the eccentricity of Gorin’s movies reminds me of those from certain other great contemporaries, like Abbas Kiarostami or João Cesar Monteiro, whose quirky particularity allows them extraordinary range and engenders deep and abundant pleasures.

© Erik Ulman, January 2003, with updates May 2005

Filmography

As director:

Vent d’est (1969) co-directed with Jean-Luc Godard

Lotte in Italia (1969) co-directed with Jean-Luc Godard

Vladimir et Rosa (1971) co-directed with Jean-Luc Godard

Tout va bien (1972) co-directed with Jean-Luc Godard

Letter to Jane (1972) co-directed with Jean-Luc Godard

Ici et ailleurs (1975) co-directed with Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville

Poto and Cabengo (1978)

Routine Pleasures (1986)

My Crasy Life (1991)

Letter to Peter (1992) video

St. François d’Assise (1992) video of Peter Sellars’ staging of Messiaen’s opera

Select Bibliography

I am very grateful to Jean-Pierre Gorin, for many conversations and much generosity with material and information.

David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, Second Edition, New York, Knopf, 1986

Manny Farber, Negative Space (expanded edition), New York, Da Capo, 1998

James Roy MacBean, Film and Revolution, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1975

James Monaco, The New Wave, New York, Oxford University Press, 1976)

Gilberto Perez, The Material Ghost, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, 1998

Jörn Schafaff, “Routine Pleasures or All About Eve or A Point in the Landscape” in Jörn Schafaff and Barbara Steiner, Jorge Pardo, Ostfildern-Ruit, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2000, pp. 45-60

Vivian Sobchack, “16 Ways to Pronounce Potato: Authority and Authorship in Poto and Cabengo“, The Journal of Film and Video, Issue XXXVI, Fall 1984

Susan Sontag, On Photography, New York, Delta, 1977

Martin Walsh, “Godard and Me: Jean-Pierre Gorin Talks”, Take One, Vol. 5, n. 1, 1976; later reprinted in The Brechtian Aspect of Radical Cinema, London, BFI, 1981

Peter Wollen, Readings and Writings: Semiotic Counter-Strategies, London, New Left Books, 1982

Articles in Senses of Cinema

Letter to Jane by Jonathan Dawson

Endnotes

  1. See James Monaco, The New Wave, New York, Oxford University Press, 1976, p. 221. Monaco’s chapter “Godard: Theory and Practice: The Dziga-Vertov Period” remains probably the most clear-sighted general accounting of this group of films.
  2. These comments are from a video interview with Gorin conducted in Melbourne in 1987; I do not know the identity of the interviewer.
  3. Gorin once modestly asserted, “Basically all I have done comes from Jean-Luc’s previous work; that’s why some of our last films are considered highly Godardian, even though I made them.” Quoted in Monaco, p. 215.
  4. Melbourne interview.
  5. Once vigorously denied: Godard: “if Vent d’est succeeds at all, it’s because it isn’t beautiful at all.” In James Roy MacBean, “Godard and Rocha at the Crossroads of Wind from the East” in Film and Revolution, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1975, p. 120.
  6. See Peter Wollen, “Godard and Counter Cinema: Vent d’est” in Readings and Writings: Semiotic Counter-Strategies, New Left Books, London, 1982, pp. 79-91. For Perez’s dismissal of the Dziga Vertov Group films, see The Material Ghost, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, 1998, p. 362.
  7. Ezra Goodman, The Fifty-Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1961, p. 11.
  8. For a more detailed analysis of Tout va bien, see David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, Second Edition, New York, Knopf, 1986, p. 335-42.
  9. Gilberto Perez, The Material Ghost, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins, 1998, p. 362; Jonathan Dawson, “Letter to Jane“, Senses of Cinema, Issue 19, March-April 2002, http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/01/19/cteq/letter.html
  10. See Monaco’s very useful discussion in The New Wave, pp. 245-50.
  11. Susan Sontag, On Photography, New York: Delta, 1977, p. 108
  12. Martin Walsh, “Godard and Me: Jean-Pierre Gorin Talks”, Take One, vol. 5, n. 1, 1976, pp. 14-15
  13. See also Vivian Sobchack, “16 Ways to Pronounce Potato‚: Authority and Authorship in Poto and Cabengo“, The Journal of Film and Video, Issue XXXVI, Fall 1984, pp. 21-29.
  14. Melbourne interview.
  15. Manny Farber, Negative Space (expanded edition), New York, Da Capo, 1998, p. 135