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The Ideology of the End of Ideology: Pontecorvo/ Godard/ Fassbinder

By Louis Armand.

In 1968, at the height of a renewed political engagement in all areas of social life, Jean-Luc Godard stated: “There are two types of militant films, those we call ‘blackboard films’ and those known as Internationale films. The latter are the equivalent of chanting L’internationale during a demonstration, while the others prove certain theories that allow one to apply to reality what has been seen on screen” (La Gai savoir). This dichotomy harks back to a debate about cinema that emerged after the Bolshevik Revolution, and whose two central protagonists were Eisenstein (on the side of narrative) and Vertov (on the side of the medium itself); both made radical contributions to film form, in particular the use of montage (in the case of Eisenstein) and superposition (in the case of Vertov). Additionally, Vertov’s kino pravda (cinéma vérité) approach to filming had particular ramifications for the “depiction” of everyday life, as opposed to conventional “realism” in which the imposition of narrative continuity etc. is exposed as constituting an ideological “normalisation.”

In a reductive sense, the debate between Eisenstein and Vertov could be boiled down to a commitment to either form or to revolutionary content. When Lenin announced cinema to be “the most important art form,” the doctrine of Socialist Realism soon transfigured it into a propagandistic medium, dogmatic in tone and didactic in intent. Formalism, which would henceforth be the domain of the avant-garde, was ostensibly suppressed as bourgeois decadence and, consequently, it is arguable that “militant” formalism thereafter serves a double critique: both of the social, subjective condition, and historical conditions, but also of the ideological condition of cinema itself. It is for this reason that even in the most overtly “political” films by directors like Godard and Guy Debord there is a marked ambivalence towards a doctrinaire “socialist realism.”

The dilemma that arises here has partly to do with the question of the status of cinema itself. In Lenin’s view, cinema was a tool, an instrument at the service of the revolution, just as it was for Goebbels and countless other architects of both soft and hard totalitarianism: among which we need to include the major Western “democracies.” The identification of cinema at the service of the revolution with a “popular” cinema, gives rise to a number of dilemmas. While “popular” may easily be opposed to “avant-garde,” in the sense that the latter is often difficult and inaccessible to easy understanding (hence “elitist”), the separation of “popular” in the revolutionary sense from “popular” in the commercial sense is not so clear. As the Portuguese filmmaker Glauber Rocha once wrote: “Revolutionary art must be magic, capable of bewitching man to such a degree that he can no longer stand to live in this absurd reality.”

Such an emancipatory potential, however, is fraught with disillusionment, since precisely the same acts of “seduction” can be, and have been on an industrial scale, employed in the business precisely of social normalisation and economic enslavement: from Rocha’s “absurd reality” to Baudrillard’s “desert of the real.” This is one reason why, in his more recent films, Godard has made controversial comparisons between the Hollywood “dream factory” and the concentration camps, and between Hollywood and the Nazi Occupation – suggesting that the former represents a type of “holocaust”: the destruction of cinema, as such, and its supplanting with what Debord calls spectacle. But not only the destruction of cinema, along with its critical potential, but also what Jean Baudrillard goes so far as to call the murder of the real. Godard explicitly relates the systematic global domination of Hollywood to the Soviet mass propaganda machine, Mosfilm, whose purpose – far from expressing or performing a critique of “real conditions of existence” – was to keep the “spectator” at bay in a state of passive contemplation (as Brecht says, “hanging up their brains with their hats in the cloakroom”), separated from life itself. For Debord, this “spectacularism” represented the highest form of social and individual alienation

For both Godard and Debord, the “popularism” of Hollywood is a product of no less than a systematic colonisation of the collective unconscious. In a sense, the entire project of Debord’s criticism of the “society of the spectacle” stems from the recognition that first cinema, then television, were the major instruments of the post-war Marshall Plan, whose avowed intention was the infrastructural rebuilding of a materially devastated Europe, but whose consequences were a (also) an infrastructural re-acculturation: and that culture was American culture.

It’s perhaps for this reason that the militant cinema of this time in Western Europe (particularly France) shares certain characteristics with socalled “Third World” militancy (in Algeria, Palestine and elsewhere), in its focus both as anti-colonialist and (in varying respects) anti-totalitarian. And as post-war America entered its own phase of social, economic and ideological normalisation, so too did it heighten existing tensions around civil rights, gender inequality, civil liberties, and so on, producing a generation of militants and filmmakers in reaction to America’s internal “colonisations” and to the totalitarianism operating behind its veneer of democracy. A reaction that largely began in the 1950s but only became visible after the assassination of JFK, America’s entry into the Vietnam War and Watergate.

One of the ramifications of US post-war hegemony and the Cold War generally was a theoretical reorientation of the idea of “political” cinema. As Louis Althusser and the theorists associated with Tel Quel argued, all films must be considered “political” because they are always already overdetermined as expressions of prevailing ideologies. This also placed a certain responsibility upon “militant” cinema to be, above all, critical – its responsibility, in the eyes of Godard (who had – echoing or anticipating Guy Debord, depending on which version of the story you believe – declared “cinema” to be dead), was to intervene, interrupt, or otherwise sabotage the “imaginary” economy of the Hollywood film model. Godard’s chosen means (like Debord’s) was montage, most extensively deployed in his ’68 anti-film Cinétracts, and far from simply being an avant-garde frivolity, montage was thus regarded as a means of sabotage against nothing less than the dominant US “military entertainment complex” itself. As Godard, again paraphrasing Debord, argued: “The dominant class creates a world after its own image, but it also creates an image of its world, which it calls a ‘reflection of reality.’” These and other Godardian tropes are in some sense already recognisable from the numerous Situation tracts published throughout the ’50s and ’60s, but above all in Debord’s Société du spectacle, published in 1967 and which became hugely influential after the student protests of May 1968. Debord always contended (with a certain amount of self-irony lacking) that Godard’s entire approach to militant cinema had been plagiarised from the Situationism, and responded with his own anti-cinema, released in 1973 under the same title as his earlier book. Like Cinétracts, The Society of the Spectacle is largely trenchant didacticism verging on agitprop, which indeed tests the comfort of the “ordinary viewer” (were such a creature to actually exist). It is an unrelenting feedback of détourned consumerist/military-entertainment complex porn, with all the prurience-value of a textbook cut-up. In certain respects, Debord’s approach parallel’s that of Marshall McLuhan, also a great advocate of the radical montage approach, whose mantra “the medium is the message” finds an exact articulation here in Debord’s “anti-concept,” in which the “end of cinema” is also the possibility of the deconstruction of the “spectacle.”

In the wake of Structuralism and the development by Christian Metz and others of a “semiology of cinema,” montage – with its radical breaks in narrative continuity – could be regarded not simply as a stylist device, but as a means of interrupting the very ideological relations of the signifying system, by breaking the apparent unity of the “image” and its socalled referent (the nominally “real”). In addition, montage could be regarded as critical by virtue of the way in which the resulting “interval” provided a space in which to deconstruct the implicit alienation-effect of the “spectacle” – which is to say, its operations of disempowerment upon the “spectator”: firstly by making these operations visible, and secondly by exposing their ideological character. For Debord, the critical potential of montage represented a mode of consciousness. “Militant cinema” would no longer be an art of perception, but a critical way of thinking.

1. Set during the period of the Algerian independence struggle from 1954-62 and shot on location, The Battle of Algiers, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo (1966), draws on the documentary style and techniques of Italian neo-realism in order to produce its effect of cinema vérité (it contains no “newsreel” footage; the entire thing was a dramatic re-enactment shot largely with handheld cameras with mostly non-professional actors) – leading it to be considered as one of the most important filmic statements about postwar revolutionary militancy, and as a virtual training manual for urban guerrilla warfare. It arguably had a direct impact on two major revolutionary texts to appear after 1968: Carlos Marighella, Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla (1969) and Ulrike Meinhof, The Urban Guerrilla Concept (1971), both of which promoted all-out guerrilla war against “fascist” state apparatuses, specifically using means that had previously been regarded as “illegal” or as “terrorism,” but which since the Algerian War had widely characterised the actions of governments themselves (like that of France) against their own people. This itself was the focus of Jean-Luc Godard’s heavily criticised 1960 film, Le Petit Soldat, which in part centred on the clandestine programme of assignations and bombings throughout Europe carried out between agents of the French military and Algerian insurgents (Godard’s film, also, was banned by the French authorities and not released until 1963, because of Godard’s graphic depiction of torture).

The philosophical framework for the The Battle of Algiers was largely drawn from Frantz Fanon’s seminal text, The Wretched of the Earth, written while Fanon worked in an Algerian hospital between 1953 and 1956, and published in 1961: an analysis of the dehumanising effects of colonisation. The book’s title is drawn from the opening lines of “The Internationale” and was, in effect, a call to revolutionary action. Jean-Paul Sartre, who provided an introduction to the book (which appeared shortly before Fanon’s death) used the occasion to argue for the right of the colonised to employ violence against the coloniser in the cause of freedom. This would then be generalised into an advocacy of the right to violence against oppression generally and against the multitude of “neocolonialisms” that had emerged since the war and would eventually involve into what, more recently, is referred to as “globalisation.” Much of The Battle of Algiers is, in fact, addressed to the question of asymmetrical struggle against a system of colonial oppression and not merely the legitimacy but in fact necessity of pursuing “unorthodox” or “illegal” means in order to “battle” the military superiority of the oppressor: hence the question of “terrorism” (and Fanon and Sartre’s advocacy of it as a legitimate tactic) is central to the film. “Legality,” wrote Meinhof in The Urban Guerrilla Concept,

‘is the ideology of parliamentarianism, the social partnership, the plural society. Many of those attempting to challenge the system ignore the fact that telephones are being legally bugged. That the post’s being scrutinised. That neighbours are being legally questioned. That informers are being paid. And that all this State activity’s legal. The organisation of political work and activism – if you want to keep away from the eyes of State scrutiny – has to take place on an illegal level, as well as the legal one…
We refuse to rely on some spontaneous anti-fascist mobilisation in the face of this kind of State terror…
To be an urban guerrilla means to launch an offensive against imperialism. The Red Army Faction is striking the connection between the legal and illegal resistance. Between national and international resistance. Between national and international struggle…’

When The Battle of Algiers opened in New York, in September 1967, it did so in the midst of Lyndon Johnson’s escalation of the war in Vietnam (the year Che Guevara famously called upon guerrilla insurgents around the world to “create many Vietnams”) and during the immediate aftermath of large-scale race riots in Newark and Detroit, and mass protests in Washington facing off against detachments from the National Guard. Members of the Black Panthers (founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966, inspired in part by the teachings of Malcolm X) were said to routinely attend screenings of the film (and later participated in the first Pan-African Cultural Festival in Algiers in 1970). The film has also been cited as a direct influence on the programme of “domestic terrorism” carried out by the Weathermen during their October 1969 “Days of Rage.” Yet the film itself is remarkable for its moral detachment and refusal of agitprop: despite being financed and produced by the recently formed Algerian government, with a screenplay by FLN coordinator Saadi Youcef, it was not so much a “call to arms” of socalled Third World militancy, as a document of the conditions and circumstances out of which the resistance and liberation movement in Algeria grew, and the historical sense of necessity that informed their actions. Nevertheless The Battle of Algiers was banned in France until 1971, despite having won the Golden Lion at the 1966 Venice Film Festival (the French delegation at the festival staged a walkout during the screening).

2. Shot 3 months after the May ’68 Paris Student uprising with the working title One Plus One, but re-cut and re-released in the US as Sympathy for the Devil, Godard’s “film” (or “anti-film”) is constructed from 4 separate “narratives” or rather “arguments” (in the classical sense of a summary prologue):

1. The Rolling Stones, working in the studio to develop the song “Sympathy for the Devil” in extended 10-minute takes over a five-day period. (The final version of the song was left out not because Godard intended it (leaving the film “intentionally incomplete,” as Colin McCabe has claimed), but because a studio fire interrupted the sessions and Godard went home to Paris and never bothered coming back.)
2. A series of back-and-forth crabbing shots of a black militant group modelled on the Black Panthers reciting revolutionary texts as they pass assault rifles along a human chain while a group of white girls in white dresses are shot off screen and left lying on the ground, in a highly mannered tableau about racial/socio-sexualisation of political militancy, etc.
3. Another allegorical sequence involving an interview team posing Yes/No questions to “Eve Democracy” (Anne Wiazemsky).
4. The fourth is set in a pornographic bookshop in which the proprietor reads aloud sections of Mein Kampf, while two Maoist hostages are ritually slapped by the shop’s customers, each of whom then give the Nazi salute.

These “arguments” reflect not only upon the contemporary political situation in 1968 and upon the commodification of all aspects of social life, even (or especially) of counterculture, transgression and “political activism,” but above all on the complicity of cinema itself in the fetish economy of the “Society of the Spectacle” (indeed, much of Godard’s work at this time can be considered a direct response to Debord – both his theoretical work and his own anti-cinema) – summed up by Erich Kuersten as a “counterculture… already lost in a narcissistic haze,” to which the Stones provide the soundtrack. Godard’s additional point being that the critic is as far from the artist as an historian is from the “man of action,” a theme transformed into the unremitting agitprop and racialist “porn” of the Black Power sequence and the action/crime/porn bookshop sequence, along with random scenes of Godardian street graffiti (“Cinémarxism”) counterpointing on the one hand the Eve Democracy “interview” and, on the other hand, the footage of the “white” Stones playing “black” music, deploying a general narrative montage to point up the “devil’s contract” of a pop cultural revolutionary stance.

Godard’s brand of anti-cinematic “action” works to counteract the political and sexual seduction of the subject-matter’s activism. Revolution is now, but all we get are slogans, repetition, cliché. Pornography is now, but all there is in the end is saturation, desensitisation and endless consumption. Rock is the zeitgeist with an electric guitar, but the entire process of “creation” is ponderous, conflicted, political, strategic, verging on committee work and agitprop (agitpop). Democracy is the present and the future, but it looks like a bland if vaguely quaint pastoral vision of the 18th century, like the celeb “woman of the future” constantly featured in popular interview magazines from the ’60s (“Do you agree that the only way an intellectual revolutionary can be truly revolutionary is to stop being intellectual?” “Yes.” – one of several questions Godard lifted from a Norman Mailer interview in the January ’68 edition of Playboy Magazine).

In his own way, Godard is showing us how the revolution is, so to speak, televised within: auto-packaged like so many reams of soap opera. But at the same time he presents us with a critical dilemma: is all of this Brechtian alienation effect at work in the “film” itself not already a cliché? By drawing attention to its own incredulity towards grand narratives while at the same time slanting towards allegory, isn’t One Plus One in certain respects a parody of the socialist revolutionary “autocritique” that began as an exercise in political self-consciousness but under Stalin had already been refined into an insidious form of political control through the neutralisation, precisely, of any possibility for critique? Which leads to the question: when Godard famously announces (like Debord) the end of cinema (at the end of his 1967 film Weekend), is he simply declaring the medium’s failure or enacting it?

This question is complicated by the fact that One Plus One was a commissioned piece which Godard then appeared to go about sabotaging from the outset, working against the producers’ expectations of a “Godard” version of the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night, for example. The resulting film, One Plus One, was re-cut by producer Iain Quarrier for its general release, under the title Sympathy for the Devil against Godard’s wishes. Appearing during a moment of transition, between Godard’s previous “revolutionary” work, like La Chinoise and Weekend, and the “collective,” “political” cinema he would attempt in collaboration with Jean Gorin under the banner of the Dziga Vertov Group, One Plus One occupies an ambiguous position with regard to Godard’s evolving ideas about the “auteur” and the singular “authority” of the director: an ambiguity highlighted by Godard’s relation both to the work itself and the contractual conditions of its production, which pose the usual dilemma of French intellectuals in the post-war period of “bad faith” and “guilty conscience.”

3. The “urban guerrilla” concept and the spectacle of homegrown “terrorism,” cognisant with the radicalisation of a sympathetic bourgeoisie, is one that is revisited in a number of Godard’s film’s, from his ambivalent treatment of the Algerian War and the underground actions of the FLN (Front de Libération Nationale) and OAS (Organisation armée secrète) in Europe – Le Petit Soldat – to his scathingly satirical examination of the almost terminal decadence of the Fifth Republic in his 1967 films Weekend and La Chinoise, the latter anticipating the student militancy of the following year and posing the question of the violent overthrow of the state (in that film, Wiazemsky’s character conducts an “interview” with the philosopher Francis Jeanson, who had actively assisted Algerian National Liberation Front agents operating in France during the Algerian War – Wiazemsky’s character advocates the planting of bombs in order to force the closure of Parisian universities as a political act, something Jeanson opposes, distinguishing gratuitous political violence from popular resistance; later Wiazemsky’s character tries to assassinate a Soviet cultural attaché but farcically shoots the wrong person due to a room number being read upside down in a hotel register). Godard’s sardonic critique of revolutionary play-acting among the children of the bourgeoisie, who in the film spend much of their time in the spouting from Mao’s Little Red Book, finds a stylish iteration in one of Rainer Fassbinder’s lesser-known hothouse dramas of the 1970s, The Third Generation (1979), born out of the disillusionments of ’68, the failure of de-Nazification in Germany, and a new period of radicalism centred around the actions of the Baader-Meinhof Red Army Faction (RAF) and the “German Autumn” of 1977.

Fassbinder, a self-styled acolyte of Godard, was considered the major figure of the “New German Cinema” of the 1970s, though like Godard his work transcends any such association to a national cultural movement. With the release of his 1973 film, Fear Eats the Soul, Fassbinder’s re-interpretation of Godard et al. became increasingly influential internationally – notably with regard to the work of filmmakers like Derek Jarman, Miike Takashi and Quentin Tarantino (his last film, Querelle (1982), with Brad Davis, was filmed in English). Like Godard, with whom he achieved something of an equal standing during his last ten years, Fassbinder explored and exploded one cinematic genre after another, from film noir and spaghetti western to science fiction, domestic melodrama and gothic thriller. At the time of his death at age 37 he had completed 40 feature films and two TV series (including the 16-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz), as well as 24 stage-plays. He worked closely with an ensemble cast (drawn largely from the Anti-Theatre group) and adopted a provocative and highly critical stance with regard to the political and moral life of post-War Western Germany (its “everyday fascism”), both in subject matter (terrorism, racism, sexuality, the police state) and by way of a Brechtian anti-naturalism in both cinematography and directing. But The Third Generation is anti-natural and satirical only up to a point, informed as it is by a doomed and somewhat Debordian sense of capture within the operations of the spectacle. The satire here is really addressed to the sort of Schopenhauerian romanticism that continued to infect left-wing political thought at that time: a romantic notion of revolution married to a romantic notion of the state (a romance perpetuated by the operations of the Debordian spectacle, in which a certain revolutionary thought remains enmeshed).

Fassbinder’s work on The Third Generation was anticipated in his contribution to Alexander Kluge’s collaborate film project, with nine other directors, entitled Deutschland im Herbst (released 1978). The film was book-ended by the state funeral for Hanns-Martin Schleyer, a Daimler-Benz executive and former SS officer shot by the RAF, and the desultory funeral service of Andreas Baader, Gudrun Esslin and Jan-Carl Raspe at Dornhalden cemetery, Stuttgart (which, after numerous injunctions elsewhere, had been facilitated by mayor of Dornhalden and son of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, who in one of those ironic twists of history had himself been accorded a state funeral by Hitler after having first been forced to commit suicide). The film, by turns documentary, melodramatic, introspective, paranoid, elegiac, charted the disappointment of a generation with return of the status quo after ’68; the continuity of Nazi influence in society; American consumerism and the failed “German economic miracle,” etc. – but also the uncritical acquiescence in turn to the cult of militant celebrity, revolutionary narcissism, and a cycle of irrational violence mirroring state authoritarianism (exemplified by the execution of hostages by RAF members during the botched Lufthansa hijacking at Mogadishu airport). Fassbinder’s own position is revealed as one of agitated ambivalence, the question seemingly most pressing, by the time he comes to make The Third Generation, is What is the critical/political/militant function of cinema as cinema? And not simply as a paean to actions increasingly rendered absurd by their gratuitousness?

Like Godard’s La Chinoise, Fassbinder’s reply doesn’t seek to resolve ambivalence, but to probe the radical character of everything ambivalence entails from the cartoonish perspective of the Sartrean “man of action.” In Fassbinder’s film, as in Godard’s, a group of disaffected bourgeoises who decide to form a militant leftist “cell” intended to conduct armed operations. Seeking a target they ultimately decide to kidnap one of their own bosses, an industrialist in the mould of Schleyer, P.J. Lurtz (Eddie Constantine), who runs a subsidiary of an American computing firm (echoes of IBM’s entanglements with the Third Reich). Unbeknownst to them, they in their own turn are being set up by State Security: the father and lover of two of the cell members is in fact a cop, while the cell’s coordinator is a stoolie and agent provocateur who’s sold them all out from the start. The joke – and Fassbinder makes it very clear that the whole thing, from the viewpoint of the cop and the industrialist, is indeed an enormous joke at the expense of the self-proclaimed revolutionaries – is that the kidnapping and ransom will be used as a high-profile justification for advancing the technocratic police state (there is even a minor essay on the new information-driven approach to criminology). At the beginning of the film, computer sales in the security sector are down, corresponding to a post-’77 decline in militant/terrorist action – but a timely left-wing kidnapping… And so it goes. There’s a nation-wide manhunt, the noose tightens, etc. The film ends with the surviving members of the cell trying to shoot a ransom video: Lurtz speaks the usual pre-scripted lines at the camera with a strange enthusiasm, and as the last frame freezes he’s smiling.

4. It would be redundant to state that Fassbinder’s and Godard’s takes on the theme of “militancy” are unapologetically parodic, the question is rather what is it that is being parodied here, and how can parody itself constitute a militant/revolutionary stance? If the first responsibility of revolutionary consciousness is self-criticism, then the answer to the first part of this question is the genre of “militant cinema” itself. Both are “anti-cinema” to the extent that they are against the pomposity of existentialist cinéma engagé – in The Third Generation the cell members use the Schopenhauerian pass-phrase “Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung” to identify themselves, while Fassbinder employs Godardian intertitles comprised of graffiti found in various men’s urinals, the locations of which are duly cited). It is in no way an Internationale film: the question of “cinema” here is not the depiction or advocacy of militant struggle or violence by or against the state, but the militant capacity of cinema itself to affect a criticism of ideology in all its dogmatic forms (including those of the socalled left). Nor is it simply the indictment of an ideologically bereft and self-contradictory “intellectual” class (the Meinhofs of the world, being the direct product of the Marshall Plan and West German post-industrialism), whose seeking after “social emancipation” is really nothing more than either a lifestyle choice or a product of their own boredom, where “militancy” is really a form of infantilism, of a “generation” immured in consumerism and an expired culture, unable to creatively or “authentically” assume responsibility for their own existence – sublimely portrayed by Fassbinder’s ironic infusion of ”romanticism” into the motivations of the group (Schopenhauer), coupled with rampant chauvinism and exploitation.

Like Godard’s student “Maoists,” the actions of Fassbinder’s “Third Generation” (the post-war “disenfranchised”) are shown to be gratuitous rather than staked to anything like the revolutionary discipline at the core of The Battle of Algiers: their militancy is informed by the ennui of a theoretical (if yet untheorised) “social consciousness” – and yet, in this extended acte gratuit there’s something fundamentally as revealing as in the work of André Gide (Dans les Caves du Vatican (1914)), or André Breton’s revolution surréaliste (a shot fired randomly in the street (1929)). And here is the point: what ultimately concerns Fassbinder, in this and numerous of his other films, is the paradox at the heart of what “militant cinema” can mean if it isn’t itself simply a mirror to all those parodically flawed actions held up as the measure of “political engagement” (history accomplished as conscientious farce). And this paradox concerns the nature of cinematic engagement, of cinematic action, of cinema’s own radical ambivalence – and of the militant “potential” of this ambivalence – measured against the fetishism of any acte gratuit. We are confronted, in other words, by a militant impulse apparently sans ideology. In this, Fassbinder is perhaps at his most incisive, responding in a sense to Debord’s critical stance vis-à-vis The Society of the Spectacle: that the only authentically revolutionary act has nothing to do with avowed ideology, but with the radical unbridled arbitrariness born of its simulacra.

References

Menno ter Braak, “Cinema Militans,” The Cinema Militans Lectures 1989-1991 (Utrecht: Dutch Film Days Foundation, 1992) 10.

Glauber Rocha, “Aesthetic of Hunger / Aesthetic of Dream,” trans. Randal Johnson and Burnes Hollyman, Diagonal Thoughts (12 October 2012): www.diagonalthoughts.com/?p=1708

Erich Kuersten, “Hell is a Postcard of Heaven: Godard’s Sympathy for the Devil (One Plus One),” Acidemic (http://www.acidemic.com/id98.html).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Louis Armand is director of the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory. His books include Videology (2015), The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey (2013), Cairo (shortlisted for the Guardian newspaper’s Not-the-Booker Prize, 2014) and The Combinations (2016).

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, February 17th, 2017.