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15 rating
  • strong language, nudity
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British Sounds

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British Sounds 15 rating

Jean-Luc Godard brings his firebrand political cinema to the UK, exploring the revolutionary signals in late '60s British society, in this experimental documentary.

Documentary 1969 51 mins

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Overview

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.

One of two films shot in the UK during Godard's late '60s phase (the other being the Rolling Stones collaboration, Sympathy for the Devil), British Sounds was originally commissioned by London Weekend Television, who then refused to screen it. It was later released under the title See You at Mao but has since been difficult to see until its rerelease in 2016. Like many of Godard's late-1960s ventures, it remains a time-capsule of political thought that might seem alien to today's viewers, but for British audiences it's also the most intriguing and accessible of Godard's 'Dziga Vertov Group' films.