Final Friday Films: an anti-bourgeois film series
“The problem is not to make political films but to make films politically.” —Jean-Luc Godard / Jean-Pierre Gorin
TOUT VA BIEN
France, 1972, 125 Min
DIRECTED BY Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin
CAST Yves Montand, Jane Fonda, Vittorio Caprioli, Elizabeth Chauvin, Castel Casti, Éric Chartier, Anne Wiazemsky, et al
Godard and Gorin’s film, unpopular and hardly viewed when released, emerges nearly 50 years later as a film with increasing relevance to the days as lived during this late capitalist period. One can see many of the participants in this film wearing gilets jaunes if the film were being shot today.
From the Criterion re-release:
“As cinema, Tout Va Bien is radically simplified and blatantly diagrammatic. After the opening sequence, the Fonda character arrives at a sausage factory to do a story on modern management techniques. Montand tags along, and, as the workers have just staged a wildcat strike, the visiting celebs soon find themselves “sequestered” with the factory’s clownish boss. The approach is self-consciously Brechtian: The characters frequently address the camera. These characters are characters and the set on which they appear is an obvious set.
This two-story, open construction—evoking the cutaway girls’ school in Jerry Lewis’s The Ladies Man (1961)—is, if not Vertov’s “factory of facts,” then at least a factory for making meaning. The comic-book frame allows the filmmakers to analyze the strike as a sort of Rube Goldberg contraption and put a didactic emphasis on working conditions. Tout Va Bien insists on class struggle throughout but is mainly about radicalizing its stars. Their role in the factory is to look and learn. Indeed, Godard and Gorin upped the class-resentment ante by having the striking workers played not by real workers but by unemployed actors.” —J. Hoberman, for Criterion, Tout Va Bien Revisited
During the coming period, films will be presented by The Revolutions Study Group of The Marxist Education Project as a continuation of the Anti-Bourgeois Film Series that was started at the Brecht Forum. These films with discussion will take place on the last Friday of each month at 6:00 pm.
Tickets are Sliding Scale