Jean-Luc Godard Richard Schickel - Essay

Richard Schickel

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Godard's vision of [the young Maoists in La Chinoise (The Chinese Girl)] is persuasively realistic. And chilling.

And comic. What always saves Godard's work for me is his superb sense of irony. His sympathetic fascination with the outsiders who always people his films rarely deteriorates into sentimentality. Quite the contrary—they are absurd creatures. In La Chinoise, for instance, adolescent inattention and ineptitude keep undercutting everyone's revolutionary fervor, as do the sexual crosscurrents which keep swirling about. And when these humorless idealists move from talk to action, things fall still further apart. They carefully plan an assassination and, of course, gun down the...

(The entire section is 406 words.)