After making some of the most iconic films of the French new wave, including Breathless, Pierrot le Fou, Le Mépris and Bande à Part, Jean-Luc Godard decided to move away from traditional film-making. At the end of the 1960s, for just over a decade, he made staunchly political films which reflected his Maoist sensibilities and his interest in challenging the very fabric of cinema. The last two films released before this period (La Chinoise and Weekend) toyed with these ideas. La Chinoise chimes with the revolutionary tensions simmering in Paris at the time.

Members of a radical Maoist group called the Aden Arabie Cell are living and/or operating out of posh Paris apartment belonging to Véronique’s (Anne Wiazemsky) bourgeoise relatives who are away for the summer. She is in a relationship with the stoic Guillaume (Jean-Pierre Léaud), whilst Kirilov (Lex de Bruijin) is seeing Yvonne (Juliet Berto), a country girl who splits her life between carrying out her duties as the group skivvy and working part-time as a prostitute to fund their activities.

La Chinoise is a playful film which spares no victims as Godard lambastes everyone from the growing French student movement, capitalism, the French Communist Party, the escalating American military activity in South East Asia, Soviet revisionism and possibly himself. He mixes ideological dialogues with comedy skits and (non)radical action. La Chinoise is a fun and thought-provoking trip down the riotous rabbit-hole of student ideology, political dogma and rampant consumerism.

Extras:

  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation
  • Original LPCM Mono 2.0 audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary by film historian James Quandt
  • Interviews with actor Michel Semeniako, assistant director Charles L. Bitsch and second assistant director Jean-Claude Sussfeld
  • Denitza Bantcheva on La Chinoise, the author discusses the film and its politics
  • Behind-the-Scenes TV Report featuring footage with Godard and the cast
  • Venice Film Festival press conference featuring Godard and scenes from the production
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin

La Chinoise is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Academy on 23rd April.