TCF340/Godard Since 1968 and Claire Denis (Discussion)

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ALL Groups:

  1. Considering the sexual politics of the gaze, how does Chocolat splice the politics of race and colonialism onto it? See the scene where Protée helps Aimée dress, in particular.
  2. Just because a film is made by a woman does not mean it will necessarily be feminist. Do you think that Chocolat is pro-feminist? Why or why not?
  3. If, indeed, it is a feminist film, into which category does it fit? (These categories may overlap.)
    1. Documentary
    2. Socialist Realist
    3. Women's cinema as counter cinema

Constance Penley on France/tour/détour/deux/enfants

  1. Group 3: Penley argues, "Both the writing on the image and the different voices over it question the image rather than anchoring its meaning as is usual in television." Explain how and compare the text-over-image in F/t/d/d/e with graphics in conventional television, such as The Dick Cavett Show.
  2. Group 4: Penley argues that Godard's use of silence in his video work is different from conventional television. Explain how and compare the use of silence in F/t/d/d/e with its use (or lack) in The Dick Cavett Show.
  3. Group 1: Penley argues that Godard's use of interviews is different from conventional television. Explain how and compare the interview in F/t/d/d/e with the interview in The Dick Cavett Show.
  4. Group 2: Penley contends that Sonimage's (Godard and Miéville's production company) analysis of representation "does not extend to questioning certain received metaphorizations of the woman's body: woman as state, as machine of reproduction, as sexuality itself." That is, Sonimage is using the woman's body as a metaphor for sexuality and reproduction. We've discussed Godard's use of the nude female body before -- in Vivre sa vie and British Sounds. How would you compare/contrast the nude pregnant woman in F/t/d/d/e with the nude women in Vivre sa vie? Does he "formally subvert" the inherent exploitation of female nudity?


  • Penley, Constance. "Les Enfants de la Patrie." Camera Obscura, 8-9-10, pp. 32-59.
  • Kuhn, Annette. Women's Pictures: Feminism and Cinema. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982.

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