mercoledì 18 febbraio 2009

ONE PLUS ONE: Sympathy for the Devil. Sympathy for Rolling Stones

Or 15.30 Sympathy for Rolling Stones. Conversazione con Angelo Capasso sulla band britannica più longeva della storia del Rock « ...I'm a man... I'm a rollin' stone... »

ONE PLUS ONE (GREAT BRITAIN, 1969) - Credits: director/writer, Jean-Luc Godard. Cast: The Rolling Stones, Anne Wiazemsky, Iain Quarrier.

The Movie was Retitled Sympathy for the devil to increase the commercial value of the film, the U.S. release was re-titled after the Stones song and the end of the film's soundtrack was altered to include a full take of the song in its final form. This angered Godard and caused a dust-up between him and a producer.During filming of The Rolling Stones' recording, a fire broke out in the sound studio. While footage of the studio on fire was not included on the film, it does exist and has been used in other films.

This didactic film essay based on the themes of construction and destruction was Godard’s first non-French film. Interspersed with sequences of a studio session of the Rolling Stones developing their song Sympathy for the devil are several scenes. A group of armed Black Power advocates in a London riverside automobile graveyard prepare for revolution reading passages from the writings of Eldridge Cleaver and LeRoi Jones concerning revolution and the black man’s lust for white women. In a pornographic bookstore, the owner reads extracts from Mein Kampf, while a pair of young men recite Vietnam War slogans. A television crew wanders through an Edenic forest conducting an interview with Eve Democracy. There are brief views of Eve Democracy (Wiazemsky) painting graffiti (“Cinemarx,” “SoViet Cong,” “FBI + CIA = TWA + PanAm”) on various surfaces in London. She is finally shot down on a beach by black militants, after which her body is lifted on a camera crane, with black and red flags on either side. At least one quarter of the film is devoted to indoor shots of a bookstore that catered to the adult or intellectual crowd of the 1960s, purveying forms of literature as diverse as Marvel's Doctor Strange, DC's The Atom, and The Flash comic books, Marxist pamphlets for propaganda, and various men's magazines famous for their scantily clad pinup centerfolds. Doctor Strange is a fictional comic-book sorcerer and superhero in the Marvel Comics universe. As the camera pans the room, a man walks about reading aloud from Mein Kampf. Cover of Mein Kampf Mein Kampf (English: My Struggle or My Fight) is the fundamental political work of Adolf Hitler, combining elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitlers political ideology of Nazism. ...
To punctuate this bizarre combination of comic books, pinup magazines, and Marxist pamphlets, consumers casually enter the bookstore, approach a bookshelf, pick up books or magazines, exchange them for a sheet of paper (containing fascist propaganda?), and then slap the faces of two Maoist hostages sitting patiently next to a book display. Toward the end of the scene, even a small child is admitted for the principal purpose of buying a pamphlet and discharging the duty of slapping the faces of the hostages. After exchanging their purchases and receiving their document, each customer raises his/her right arm in a "heil hitler" salute, and leaves the store.

Mimicking the bizarre scene earlier, of the camera crew following a woman in a park (Eve Democracy), is the last scene on the Beach to the movie, where the camera crew mulls about on the beach, and from afar, one man asks another, what are they doing over there? To which the other man answers, I think they are shooting a movie. A large winch or crane is positioned on the beach, and a woman in white is laid down upon the end of the crane, and elevated on the platform until she is well above the beach. She doesn't rise up, she just remains motionless, half-hanging off the crane, one leg dangling. Perhaps the woman is lying there exhausted, or perhaps she is dead, but either way she appears to personify Eve Democracy.

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