Jean-pierre Rassam

Jean-pierre Rassam

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Tout Va Bien Review


Weak
Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin were interested in leftist, specifically Maoist, political theory at the time they filmed Tout va Bien (which translates to All's Well, a possibly ambivalent reference to activists being marched away by police at the end of the film). The film starts off amusingly, narrated by two voices (presumably supposed to be the filmmakers) who want to make a "political" film but don't seem to have any particular ideas in mind -- except that for monetary reasons the film needs to have "stars." So Yves Montand and Jane Fonda are injected into the story (dream casting, since both were stars who were also leftists). Montand plays Jacques, a former filmmaker who now shoots slick commercials to pay the bills; Fonda is Suzanne, an unsuccessful journalist.

All too quickly, though, the film goes straight into politics, as Jacques and Suzanne go to interview the manager of a sausage plant and are locked in with him by activists who call a strike. Here the film gets very talky, but also credibly presents the activists' concerns as they wonder what settlement the union will seek with the management. There are some effective sequences in which the strikers complain to Suzanne about working conditions in the plant, and Godard's technical skill (and interesting use of a cutaway set of the factory) makes even this preachy part watchable for a while.

Continue reading: Tout Va Bien Review

General Idi Amin Dada (A Self Portrait) Review


Excellent
Idi Amin is crazy. Totally insane. He mercilessly overthrew his home government in Uganda in 1971, and yet in 1974 he allowed Barbet Schroeder (who would direct a fictional movie about an equally crazy real-life subject decades later in Reveral of Fortune) into his country to make a documentary about his life and regime.

General Idi Amin Dada (A Self Portrait) is exactly that. Schroeder goes where Amin says and when Amin says, and after the film was finished, Amin demanded a number of cuts that portrayed him in an unsatisfactory light. What leverage did Amin have to make such demands of a Frenchman? Well, he said that if Schroeder didn't make the cuts, he'd possibly kill or maim some 150 French citizens living in Uganda. Sounds a little like Hollywood...

Continue reading: General Idi Amin Dada (A Self Portrait) Review

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