Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin Five Films
Jean-Luc Godard’s early films reflect the increasingly political nature of their maker and the volatile cultural upheavals of the 1960s. By the time Godard used 1967’s Weekend as a kiss-off to commercial cinema, he had already covered topics like the Algerian and Vietnam wars, America’s post-World War II presence and influence throughout Europe, and the increasing commodification of all facets of life under capitalism. Yet the anti-Gaullist riots of May 1968 galvanized an already radical filmmaker to approach his profession, itself a product of American capitalist industry, from a socialist angle. Teaming up with Maoist student Jean-Pierre Gorin, Godard formed the collective Dziga Vertov Group, so named for the Russian constructivist theorist and director, and set about creating a series of films that break apart the formal rules of cinema for the purposes of remaking existing film language and subject matter around socialist ideals.

Arrow Academy has bundled five of these films — Un Film Comme les Autres, British Sounds, Le Vent d’Est, Vladimir et Rosa, and Lotte in Italia — and together they represent some of the most difficult work of Godard’s notoriously thorny career. Where the director’s classic work mixed formal experimentation with genre deconstructions and impish satire, these films opt for socialist-realist asceticism and foregrounded political theory. If Godard previously weaved his increasingly radical politics into nominally mainstream films, these were works meant to educate, aimed squarely at university students dealing with the fallout from May ‘68 and the Vietnam War.

This lavish box set by Arrow Academy is a fulsome tribute to a film-making collective that dared to expand the boundaries of what cinema could be.


3xBD50, 3xDVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 456 min
Language: Francais, English
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama, Documentary

Disc One:

'Un Film Comme Les Autres' (1968) looks at the social upheaval caused by the 1968 French workers' and students' protests.

'British Sounds' (1970) focuses on the daily routine of an assembly line worker in a British factory.

A Conversation with JLG (1080i; 2:08:21) is a fascinating piece that expertly weaves together snippets from Godard's long career in what almost might be thought of as a bit of the same sort of montage theory Godard indulges in with at least some of the films in this set, with Godard puffing on a stogie and seeming to be enjoying himself "playing" a bit on the irascible side. Even those who may not have a particular interest in the films in this set will find this a worthwhile sit down with the cinema icon.

Disc Two:

'Le Vent D'est' (1970) touches on the manufacturing of home-made weapons.

'Lotte in Italia' (1971) focuses on a young Italian activist and her ideologies.

Schick After Shave Advertisement (1080p; 00:59) is a completely peculiar spot that seems to suggest wife (or girlfriend) beating can be ameliorated with just a little Schick After Shave. The fact that Godard would bow to the forces of Capitalism and produce a marketing piece is fascinating enough, but the spot itself is really bizarre.

Disc Three:

'Vladimir et Rosa' (1971) is based on the trial of the Chicago Eight, who were arrested and charged following anti-Vietnam War protests in the city.

Michael Witt on Godard, Gorin and the Dziga Vertov Group (1080p; 1:30:19) is a really excellent overview of the collaboration between Godard and Gorin, as well as some of Godard's sociopolitical aims during this era. There are separate chapters devoted to each of the films in this set. This is actually the best place to start for viewers unaware of these sometimes rather peculiar features.

Download Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971: Un film comme les autres / A Film Like Any Other (1968), British Sounds / See You at Mao (1970), Le vent d'est / Wind from the East (1970), Lotte in Italia / Struggle in Italy (1971), Vladimir et Rosa / Vladimir and Rosa (1971) 3 x DVD9 and 3 x Blu-Ray Arrow Academy:

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