Saturday, November 27, 2010


Godard critiques modern capitalistic society in his films. A variety of things are bought and sold throughout his filmography; ranging from sex, food, newspapers, pop songs, drinks, clothes, and even personal history. One of the most incredible scenes which comments on commercialism is at the end of Tout Va Bien when a continuous tracking shot pans left to right behind the cash registers at a super grocery store. Every person checking out has carts filled abundantly. The store has piles of food in the background. The grotesque array of products frighteningly reflects reality.
Scene from Tout Va Bien
As the camera tracks back to the left, a group of young adults come and eventually start declaring everything is free, and start grabbing at the goods. The other customers begin to follow suit, and also begin to raid the products. In this sequence, Godard captures the idea that "it is practically impossible for the consumer to live in the present moment" (Morrey 64). Commercialism in the 60's created so many new items for purchase, that it was impossible to keep up with new products. When given the chance to take whatever they can, with little hesitation the stealing begins. It's amazing how fast the scene turns from following capitalistic law into free-law. I have to wonder if a group of people did the same thing at a grocery store, would such a scene truly be started?
Customers fleeing the store with 'free' groceries.

Jane Fonda's character asks, "To change everything, where do you start?" in lieu of a story she is writing. I think it is fascinating question it terms of how Tout Va Bien examines the bourgeoisie capitalism. Would destruction of the system be able to change it all? Or do we need to live like the tribal society presented at the end Week-End to escape all the buying and selling?

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