Revolutionary form in theory and practice
in French cinema in the 1970s
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Jean-Luc Godard is an intriguing exponent of cinematic theory; he almost never wrote books on the cinema, and expressed a certain friendly disdain for theoretical discussion. After he made his first film in 1959, he practically ceased publishing articles; most of his published 'work' relates to specific films and is in the form of interviews. Godard described himself as an 'essayist', and the films which he made with the Dziga-Vertov group from 1969 to 1971 are the cinematic equivalents of articles in political or critical magazines; they are all theory. La Cecilia is the story of a revolutionary experiment that fails. Since La Cecilia is a historical film, there is tension between the terms of 1976 and those of nineteenth-century anarchism, available to the historical protagonists. One of the few 'unfavourable' criticisms received by La Cecilia, André Cornand's article highlights a gap between Jean-Louis Comolli's theory and his practice.

French cinema in the 1970s

The echoes of May

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