Saturday, February 6, 2010

#275: Tout Va Bien

(Jean-Luc Godard, 1972)

Another thing about Godard movies: it's very hard to truly appreciate one of his films without knowing how it was made. Tout Va Bien is a perfect example of this. Made with Jane Fonda and Yves Montand, the film would mean virtually nothing without viewers recognizing these two stars, as the film largely centers around the idea of them at the center of a radically political film. Much less likely to be noticed is the fact that the workers at the striking salumi plant were played by unemployed actors (interacting, of course, with these world-famous stars). An interesting point, made totally irrelevant in the actual viewing of the film.

Tout Va Bien has other flaws (or strengths depending on what your perspective is on process as art), and it is like other Godard films in that it is inherently contemporary, unable to be separated from its time. But the film is much more frequently entertaining and challenging than some of his lesser films, and does not deserve its negative reputation (or Godard's own scorn). It's an interesting film, if far from a truly great one.

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