L.A. Times: Made in U.S.A review

The L.A. Times has a review of Made in U.S.A., (based on The Jugger).  Critic Kevin Thomas likes it:

Elliptical in the extreme and loaded with cinematic and political references, the film is nevertheless compelling because of Anna Karina’s radiant presence and Godard’s stunning images, dry wit, political fervor and endless inventiveness and daring.

Karina is a presence on the screen, and the cinematography and composition are neat, although I wouldn’t go so far as “stunning.”  I think the “endless inventiveness” gives “artsy-fartsy” a bad name, and I don’t think any movie is “daring” unless releasing it could have a cost to the people involved beyond the financial risks that any movie entails.  Not seeing that here.

I suppose it should be possible to find something interesting in the movie if you sympathize with or are interested in the politics, but if there are political points made in the film, I couldn’t comprehend them–clearly it’s leftist, but leftist in service of what?  If it’s a critique of American politics, what is the critique, beyond “Very bad, I disapprove”?

Or, as I wrote in my review, “What on earth is the point?”

To be fair, I only saw the movie once, nearly ten years ago.  I’m now much more conversant in history and politics, and the language by which they are conveyed in art, than I was back then, so it’s possible that another viewing will reveal things that eluded me the first time and enhance my appreciation of the film.  By which I mean, give me any appreciation at all.

Made in U.S.A. will have another chance with me when the DVD comes out.  Maybe my mind will change.  I’m not optimistic.

PS: I’m looking forward to the DVD release so that all of you will be able to see the movie and know what I’m talking about!  When I switched to a blog-format front page, I had no idea that there was going to be so much Made in U.S.A. news…

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