Jean-Luc GodardFrance90 minutes1967ColourFrench
Shot in pulsing primaries (especially red), scored with Stockhausen, Schubert, and Vivaldi and paced with breakneck wit, La Chinoise is one of Godard's most important and visually astounding works. A five-member Maoist cell (including nouvelle vague luminaries Jean-Pierre Léaud, Juliet Berto and Anne Wiazemsky) spends summer vacation in a Parisian apartment discussing the Chinese Cultural Revolution and plotting an assassination. Though clearly sympathetic to their rejection of bourgeois ideology, Godard portrays the members of the cell as bunglers, revisionists, suicides, and poseurs. "Brilliant, distinctly disquieting as well as gratifyingly funny ... a prophetic and remarkably acute analysis behind the events of May 1968, in all their desperate sincerity and impossible naiveté" (Time Out).