Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, France, 1967, 99 min.
In an apartment defaced with political graffiti, Godard’s “petit Maoists” debate the principles of the Cultural Revolution, their shortwave tuned to Radio Peking. This Parisian cell, consisting of five young people—Veronique, a student; Guillaume, an actor; Henri, a chemical engineer; Kirilov, an artist, and Yvonne, a country girl—deliberates the need for action while gorged on the predigested language of revolution. In an almost slapstick assemblage of skits that joins Pop to agitprop, La Chinoise charts the progress of these radicals as they veer from playing at revolution to making it. All the while, Godard advances his self-possessed film forward with a lucidity of means that refuses distraction. La Chinoise speaks first as a prophetic clarification of brooding unrest, soon verified by May ’68, and then as a vehicle for radical theater seeking use beyond reflection. “OK, it’s fiction,” says one cell member, “but it brings me closer to reality.”
You can buy tickets online or at the theater.
If there is interest in post-film coffee and discussion note it in the RSVP.
Meet at the PFA lobby at 8:15 to get our seats before the film begins at 8:35. I will be wearing a red shawl and will email my cell # the day before the meetup.