View Full Version : tout va bien

12-03-2005, 12:36 PM
anybody caught the rerelease of this on DVD?

godard movie from 1972 about the let down of being a leftist post 1968 in france. thought i'd post about it cos it kind of relates to some of the discussions about M.I.A. and nathan barley, about the feeling that today activism has retreated into some comfortable rutt, where people just spit out the scripts of dissent but most people arnt 'feeling it' and its no longer able to affect anything. people are just going thru the motions and revolution is only a pose within the market.
it seemed like people thought that was a new feeling, but someone suggested it could be the same for every generation which this movie might support.

other than that this movie treads the line between being trying to be accesible and being deliberatly difficult. thats something i like in a film :)
it has all classic godard perversity, base humour to contrast with the analytical monologues, political ambivalence, intrusive musical interludes, confusing self reference, simultaneous translation...
its really formally beautiful and inovative, alternately naive and brutal.

it got really badly slated at the time, but i found it a really interesting, very attractive, discussion of the 'problem' of being a middle class leftist.

so, yeah, i'm just making a little recommendation... and i'd like to hear what anyone else thought.

14-03-2005, 12:17 PM
i wd like to see the dvd cos the video version of this was shit -- gorin says the film as shot was lit to become less and less film-like as it went on. i think it's fairly dense, partly because godard was a bit clueless politically, but it gets something of the post-68 disillusionment anyway. sometimes 'brechtian' can mean 'incredibly stilted'.

16-03-2005, 04:37 PM
i really like this film, though am a bit too tired at the mo to work up a coherent defence....h-crimm's is nice enough

the setpieces just worked very well for me, in particular the strike at the beginning (being politically naive enough to think 'yeah!' at said bit) and in the supermarket. the soul-searching i was a little less sure about (champagne maoist has doubts shockah)

not seen any of the dziga vertov group stuff, and have a feeling henry has- so what's worth bothering with and more importantly how do you bloody well get hold of them? i've read colin mccabe's images sounds politics or whatever it was called, which makes some of them sound interesting, if rather intimidating and politically wrong headed

17-03-2005, 08:43 AM
basically: impossible to see them publically. i saw em at the nft's godard season in 2001, and i'm pretty sure they haven't been screened since. i *think* that they are in the archives of the lux organisation, which holds the collection of the Other Cinema. one of the films (a special case), 'letter to jan [fonda]' is contained on the new dvd of 'tout va bien', and maybe more will roll out. but 'british sounds' for example is not even in the national film archive in the uk. it was shot for LWT!!

that maccabe book is interesting, and is probably the 'most accurate' treatment in english of what the d-v group was up to. maccabe was instrumental in "popularizing" lacan and althusser, the latter being the main theoretical mainspring for the films. gorin was a student of althusser's before working for 'le monde', so 'tout va bien's media critique comes from him more than you'd think.

i have to say that the d-v films are mostly impossible to watch. one of them i had to walk out of. as maccabe says they're main thing is separating sound from image, so that image is no longer a 'truth' backed up by sound (so logocentric!). they also critique the idea of popular political movies like 'z' and the marxist italian westerns, and this thrust make (IMO) 'vent d'est' (1969) the best d-v movie. it was funded by millionnaire italian marxists and was supposed to be a lefty western. instead it's a total self-critique.

17-03-2005, 08:47 AM
that said, i would love to see 'british sounds'. it has footage of the student demonstration at essex uni in '69, some early feminist stuff from sheila rowbotham, some trot car workers in oxford... produced by ken loach's company and never shown on TV, as was the intention. 'tout va bien' was a kind of 'hang on! we aren't communicating with *anyone*!!!' double-take, but it was also a flop, despite the stars and the sets and the narrative.

21-03-2005, 10:23 PM
ta, that's all v useful- knew about mccabe, the fuss about him being appointed at oxford while being a (shock horror) 'structuralist' and all

on the subject (sort of) i saw a few of the '68 'cine-tracts' in the French Documentary season, which were intriguing, as an idea and in the execution- they still seemed to have loads of energy about them, inflammatory and analytical at the same time. (JLG's were fairly obvious as they had his handwriting all over them). i'm sort of fascinated by the idea of film explicitly serving a mass movement- apparently these were made v quickly and cheaply to be shown at meetings and suchlike- so there was an obvious give-and-take going on

12-04-2005, 11:04 AM


it's great enough that 'la chinoise' is coming to dvd, but FUCK ME 'british sounds' too???? amazing. australian only, but hey.

25-04-2005, 11:28 PM
Funny this came up. Just picked up the Criterion Tout Va Bien and watched it last night. The restoration is incredible - really makes the colors vivid. Have to place it in begin Two or Three Things and Weekend in regards to its visual style and content. Jane Fonda seems lost, though.

Pick it up just for the extras, in particular Letter to Jane. Godard and Gorin's comments are in perfect context to what's going on in Iraq, our (US) current Vietnam debacle.

Love to see British Sounds and Wind From The East. Cinema and Revolution is a perfect companion to all of his 70's experiments with the Dziga Vertov group.