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La Chinoise

Anne Wiazemsky , Jean-Pierre Léaud , Jean-Luc Godard  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Anne Wiazemsky, Jean-Pierre Léaud
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Restored, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: KOCH Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013D8LY0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "La Chinoise" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Paris, 1967. Disillusioned by their suburban lifestyles, a group of middle-class students, led by Guillaume (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and Veronique (Anne Wiazemsky), form a small Maoist cell and plan to change the world by any means necessary. After studying Maoist cell and plan to change the world by any means necessary. After studying the growth of communism in China, the students decide that they must use terrorism and violence to ignite their own revolution.

DVD Extras:
Godard editing table interview, Venice Film Festival press conference footage, Interview with Anne Wiazemsky,
Introduction by Colin MacCabe (author of Godard: A Portrait of the Artist at Seventy), Original Theatrical Trailer

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant July 8, 2008
Godard's misunderstood film about a cell of Maoist students in 1967 France is not so much an endorsement of revolutionary politics as it is an exploration of it. Although the film clearly contributed to the revolt at Columbia uprising, and later the student May uprising of 1968, this is in fact a highly nuanced account of the variegated tendencies of radicalization among the French youth. We encounter an outdated renunciation of Marxism-Leninism, which sadly converted large swaths of radicalizing youths to Mao in the 1960's, and still has some resonance on the left today. This is a delightful mixture of politics and pop culture as only Godard can provide, that is, with passion and form.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not particularly compelling, but worth a look August 7, 2008
Some of Godards films are consistently entertaining (Breathless, My Life to Live, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville, Weekend, Pierrot Le Fou) while others are less so.

La Chinoise (1967) is smart as all of Godard's works are, but only mildly entertaining. Its content, style of critique, & entertainment value put it on par with Godard's other (and later) meditation on the intersection of pop culture & revolutionary politics, Sympathy for the Devil (1968). Both films deal with revolutionary politics & pop culture & how even radical cells reproduce the dominant culture's patriarchal paradigms.

La Chinoise is the story of a group of middle-class revolutionaries. The leader of this revolutionary troupe is played by a gentrified Jean-Pierre Leaud who, despite his many bourgeois trappings, nonetheless spends every waking hour reading from one revolutionary text or another. While it might be impossible to say exactly how much of this revolutionary talk had gotten to Godard, it is clear (at least at this point in his career) that he can still see both the comic and tragic irony of trying to be both revolutionary & bourgeoisie at the same time. Leaud is not as interesting nor as exciting to watch as Belmondo, but Godard has a lot of fun with this character who is so saturated with revolutionary theory that he is thrilled when one of his comrades gets beaten up by a rival faction because this is proof to him that all of his theorizing and political posturing has some connection to and effect upon reality. Eventually, to underscore Leauds bourgeois narcissism, Godard has him go on a tirade against mere actors while dressed as Napoleon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great but cheaper in Germany August 27, 2005
This is a great film with wonderful political overtones. If you would like to see it for around 25$, get the German copy. The only drawback besides PAL is that it is dubbed into German!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the End Title May 16, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great movie. Decent,not exceptional transfer. Nice extras. However, where is the end title to the film that Richard Brody mention in his new Godard biography. After the shutters are closed their should be an end title that reads "The End Of A Beginning." It has gone missing. This is why Koch Lorber is not Criterion. Can any of you Godard experts out there help with this? Thanks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Revolution Is Not A Dinner Party, Indeed! January 5, 2010
The last time the name of famous (1960s famous) French experimental filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard appeared in this space was in last year's retro-review of his documentary/didactic montage of The Rolling Stones as they went through their paces in creating the rock classic "Sympathy For The Devil" in 1968. I faulted Godard's efforts there for trying the patience of even the most ardent Stones fan (including this reviewer) with his interspersing of 1960s hard political rhetoric and zany antics with a rather long drawn out exposition on the creative process that it took to create a song lasting a few moments. All the faults there, however, turn into pluses in this 1967 look at the trials and tribulation of a small group of ardent radicals trying to make sense of their world (their French world, by the way) during the tumultuous 1960s and during the heat of the struggle to break with, what in France, was the status quo- adherent to the Communist Party that, although having at one time perspective for socialist revolution and the road to a communist society, had seemingly given up that mantle to Mao and the Chinese Revolution.

The story line here is fairly simple, although perhaps rather obscure to the last couple of generations since the generation of '68 had its heyday. Fair enough. I need not spent much time on this however because the story line has its antecedents in, and the script fairly accurately follows, the famous Russian writer Dostoevsky's novel "The Possessed". (Dostoevsky, by the way came within a hairbreadth of the hangman's noose for his own youthful political activism, something which colors in a perverse way the cautionary tale he tells).
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