La Chinoise


One of Jean-Luc Godard's lesser-known '60s films, La Chinoise sees the director forge ahead on a course of political radicalism. Subtitled a "film in the process of making itself", it's a farcical account of five young people who've formed a Marxist-Leninist cell in Paris in the summer of 1967. Mao's Little Red Book is the essential reading for the likes of philosophy student Veronique (Anne Wiazemsky) and actor Guillaume (Jean-Pierre Leaud), who earnestly discuss the lessons that can be applied to France from the Chinese Revolution.

This is less a conventional story than a collage of slogans, photos, comic-strips and posters, accompanied by classical music and excerpts from Radio Peking. The ideological debates among the characters test your patience, but La Chinoise remains an interesting snapshot of an era, and a work which draws our attention to the fact we're watching a film.

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