A philistine in the art film business, Jeremy Prokosch is a producer unhappy with the work of his director. Prokosch has hired Fritz Lang (as himself) to direct an adaptation of “The Odyssey,” but when it seems that the legendary filmmaker is making a picture destined to bomb at the box office, he brings in a screenwriter to energize the script. The professional intersects with the personal when a rift develops between the writer and his wife.
In this modern retelling of the Virgin birth, Mary is a student who plays basketball and works at her father’s petrol station; Joseph is an earnest dropout who drives a cab. The angel Gabriel must school Joseph to accept Mary’s pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God’s plan through meditations that are sometimes angry and usually punctuated by elemental images of the sun, moon, clouds, flowers, and water.
Jean-Luc Godard’s and Jean-Pierre Gorin’s interpretation of the Chicago Eight / Chicago Seven trial, which followed the 1968 Democratic National Convention protest activities. Judge Hoffman becomes the character Judge Himmler (played by Ernest Menzer) and the defendants become a microcosms of the French Revolution.
Wind From the East is a product of Jean-Luc Godard’s involvement, during the late 60s and early 70s, with a collective filmmaking experiment known as the Dziga Vertov Group. The film is, typically of the films he made during this period, about ideas and simultaneously about how best to express those ideas through the medium of film. The film deals with the situation of a strike and, during its first half, methodically analyzes the different components of the strike: the workers, the radical students who encourage the strike while not quite being able to communicate in the same terms as the workers, the union delegates and other middlemen who preach moderation and compromise, the employers who demand the immediate resumption of work, the police state that suppresses the strike on behalf of capitalism.
Jean-Luc Godard brings his firebrand political cinema to the UK, exploring the revolutionary signals in late ’60s British society. Constructed as a montage of various disconnected political acts (in line with Godard’s then appropriation of Soviet director Dziga Vertov’s agitprop techniques), it combines a diverse range of footage, from students discussing The Beatles to the production line at the MG factory in Oxfordshire, burnished with onscreen political sloganeering.
Ten short pieces directed by ten different directors, including Ken Russell, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, and Nicolas Roeg. Each short uses an aria as soundtrack/sound (Vivaldi, Bach, Wagner), and is an interpretation of the particular aria.
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL is an exhilarating, provocative motion picture. The Rolling Stones rehearse their latest song, “Sympathy For the Devil,” in a London studio. Beginning as a ballad, the track gradually acquires a pulsating groove, which gets Jagger into a rousing vocal display of soulful emotion that Godard is lucky enough to capture on film. Showing that rock and roll is more than just partying and goofing off, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL is a brilliant portrait of the creative process at its most collaborative and arousing.