Letter to Jane

    • Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin
    • France
    • 1972
    • 52 min
    • Paradocs: Curated by Aernout Mik
    In 1972, Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin wanted to make Tout va bien with Jane Fonda, but the American star was taken aback by the script, which reeked of Maoist rhetoric. Only after Gorin put huge pressure on her did she accept a small supporting role – too small, thought the filmmakers, so they took revenge on her. Although Gorin and Godard never openly admitted doing so, this is certainly the impression Letter to Jane creates. In this film essay the duo, speaking in turn, pick apart one single news image, a photo published in L’Express of Fonda visiting the Vietcong, who were just about to defeat the Americans and complete the communist revolution. In their almost 60-minute-long polemical discussion, the filmmakers cast doubt on Fonda’s motivation in sometimes patronizing and misogynistic terms. The iconography of Hollywood and the American star system take the rap and Fonda gets it on the chin. The photograph, on-screen for minutes at a time, is analyzed in minute detail. Once in a while, there is a cut to black or to stills from films such as Klute (starring Jane Fonda) and The Grapes of Wrath (starring Fonda’s father, Henry). Knowing no equal in its minimalist and ideological intensity, this extreme work can be regarded as an anti-film.

    Credits

    • 52 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    • Spoken languages: English
    Director
    Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin
    Production
    Jean-Luc Godard for Sonimage
    Narration
    Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin
    Narrator
    Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin
    World Sales
    Gaumont S.A.

    IDFA history

    2014
    Screened
    Paradocs: Curated by Aernout Mik

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    IDFA history

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