La Chinoise

Film - Feature | August 28 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

In an apartment painted brilliant shades of red and blue, five young people—including Véronique (Anne Wiazemsky), a philosophy student, and the actor Guillaume (an ardent Léaud)—attempt to live according to the precepts of Chairman Mao, their shortwave tuned to Radio Peking. In an assemblage of skits that bridges Pop and agitprop, Godard portrays the progress of these “petit Maoists” from playing at revolution to making it. It remained for the events of May 1968 to prove La Chinoise prophetic, and the film’s fascination only grows in retrospect. As J. Hoberman wrote in the Village Voice some forty years later, “Anyone wishing to ponder the origins and fate of the European New Left, as well as the development of political terrorism, should . . . catch La Chinoise.”

 afox@berkeley.edu, 5106420365