I took the road less-traveled.
And then I cheated
But there is no cheating this.
A film adrift in the cosmos.
My grasp of French is not good. Watching this film is not the same as ordering a sandwich at Subway in rural Quebec–and I am not very good at that (to put it mildly).
This film is saturated with revolutionary philosophy, theory, literary allusions.
Fortunately for me there were subtitles available…in Italian.
My grasp of Italian is non-existent. Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh. I can get the general gist by way of Spanish similarities.
My grasp of Spanish is poor.
Wow. What a quandary!
What am I even doing watching this film?!?
Well…because Jean-Luc Godard is my favorite director.
This film, however, might be rightly considered the official starting point of his years in the collaborative collective known as the Dziga-Vertov Group.
But any way you cut it: this is a difficult film.
What are my own thoughts about it?
It is an exercise in minimalism. It’s like Hitchcock’s Rope minus a plot.
But something has replaced plot. That something is context.
As I watched this it became clear that the May ’68 events in Paris were the essential detail about which a viewer must have knowledge to understand this film (especially if said viewer is fluent in neither French nor Italian).
The other aspect which occupied my mind during the viewing (as my brain was blowing gaskets from hearing French and “reading” Italian simultaneously) was the “strategy of tension” connected to the false-flag terror attacks (Operation Gladio) in Italy in the 1970s and 80s.
General strikes. de Gaulle. Latin Quarter. Situationist International. Nanterre. Sorbonne.
Rive Gauche. Molotov cocktails. Agents provocateurs?
Daniel Cohn-Bendit. Nantes. Nanterre. (WESTXLAYERTWO)
Renault. Billancourt. Paris Commune. 1871.
Sous les pavés, la plage!
“Ne travaillez jamais” –Guy Debord (1953)
Wikipedia leaves out the Debord quote, but the article is generally good.
Title: May 1968 events in France
I should however mention that Godard’s exclusion from the cinema portion at the bottom of the article is eye-popping.
So be forewarned: if you want to know the truth you will have to dig deeper.
BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION
IT WAS TOTALLY INVISIBLE HOWS THAT POSSIBLE ? THEY USED THE EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD X THE INFORMATION WAS GATHERED AND TRANSMITTED UNDERGRUUND TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION X DOES LANGLEY KNOW ABOUT THIS ? THEY SHOULD ITS BURIED OUT THERE SOMEWHERE X WHO KNOWS THE EXACT LOCATION ? ONLY WW THIS WAS HIS LAST MESSAGE X THIRTY EIGHT DEGREES FIFTY SEVEN MINUTES SIX POINT FIVE SECONDS NORTH SEVENTY SEVEN DEGREES EIGHT MINUTES FORTY FOUR SECONDS WEST X LAYER TWO
strategia della tensione
SLOWLY DESPARATLY SLOWLY THE REMAINS OF PASSAGE DEBRIS THAT ENCUMBERED THE LOWER PART OF THE DOORWAY WAS REMOVED WITH TREMBLING HANDS I MADE A TINY BREACH IN THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER AND THEN WIDENING THE HOLE A LITTLE I INSERTED THE CANDLE AND PEERED IN THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER BUT PRESENTLY DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING Q ?
Anni di piombo
Fear, propaganda, disinformation, psychological warfare, agents provocateurs, false-flag terrorists (sounding familiar?)
If you live in the USA it should. Same goes for UK. And Canada. And France. And Norway. Ad nauseam.
But the initial testing was in Italy. One might also mention Greece and Turkey.
Piazza Fontana. Aldo Moro. Henry Kissinger. Threats.
l’Ulivo. 2000 Italian Parliamentary Commission report. Strategy of tension was supported by United States.
On this subject Wikipedia is not very good. It is misleading. It is covering up for something. Of course, I am speaking about the English version.
My initial “cheating” was looking at a translated copy of the Un Film comme les autres page on Italian Wikipedia. The optimist in me hopes that this strange film “about nothing” (most would probably say) inspired the Italians even more than the French. Present availability of this film might bear this out. The pessimist in me sees some Italian opportunists out to make a buck (knowing that this film is available in no other territory). But the subtitles support the former assertion. If you are an English monoglot, good luck!
George H.W. Bush refused to comment. Of course he did! Operation Gladio.
1990. Seems so long ago that the European Parliament had the balls to condemn NATO and the US for the terrorism of Operation Gladio. Here Wikipedia succeeds.
Title: Operation Gladio
That’s cause the EU doesn’t really care about its people either anymore. Yes, we know…European Coal and Steel Community, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam.
CIA director William Colby was quite candid about this whole operation in his memoirs, it seems… No wonder he died in a “boating accident” in 1996.
On the other hand… “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of records responsive to your request.” Well that’s very fucking helpful, FOIA. Works like a charm!
I recommend Daniele Ganser’s work as well as that of Gianfranco Sanguinetti.
If you’ve made it this far, then you understand the gist of the film under review. That’s what I tell myself. I’m like one of those students in the weeds…trying to understand it all as the sun hits the hair of the beautiful girl in the yellow socks. There are no faces in the summer colors…just glimpses…glints. Memory is black and white. Recollections of a man with a movie camera.