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The Way of the Termite: The Essay in Cinema

Saturday, January 31, 2009
6:00 p.m. Letter to Jane: An Investigation of a Still
Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin (France, 1972)

Please note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, J. P. Gorin will not appear in person at this screening as previously announced. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

“This extraordinary little movie emerged from the then recently formed French Dziga Vertov film collective, led by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin. . . . Godard and Gorin had originally become united in a dream of a new revolutionary cinema, and to all intents and purposes the Dziga Vertov Group became these two men, as other members broke off to form their own equally obsessive and more or less purist groups. . . . The entire premise of Letter to Jane is a deconstruction of a notorious news photograph of Jane Fonda visiting Hanoi and surrounded by Vietnamese communists. The best parts of the film function as a withering critique of the iconography of Hollywood and the (fashionably unfashionable) Hollywood star system.”

—Jonathan Dawson, Senses of Cinema

• (52 mins, In English, Color, 16mm, From Gaumont)

Preceded by short:
LBJ (Santiago Alvarez, Cuba, 1968). An inventive collage film links Lyndon B. Johnson to the violence of the sixties. (20 mins, B&W/Color, 16mm, PFA Collection)

• (Total running time: 72 mins)