Six fois deux/Sur et sous la communication

1976, 597 min, color, sound, French with English voice-over
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In this radically unconventional television series, Godard and Miéville analyze the political economy of personal and mass media communications in relation to society, culture, family and the individual. Their inquiry focuses "on and beneath" communications in a provocative critique of the power of media images in contemporary culture and everyday life.

Each of the six programs is constructed of two complementary segments: A discursive visual essay on one aspect of the production and consumption of images is paired with a related interview on labor and leisure with an individual — an amateur filmmaker, a dairy farmer, the mathematician René Thom, Godard himself. These extended interviews provide a subjective counterpoint to the theoretical essays on work, economics and mass cultural imagery.

For example, Photos et cie is a deconstructive critique of the manipulatory power of photojournalism, news and advertising images; Leçons de choses studies the production and reception of cultural representations. The filmmakers' refusal to conform to the codes of TV style — interviews are recorded by a fixed camera in a single shot held for an extended duration, images are obscured by the inscription of written text on the screen — imparts a subversive, quirky wit to the overtly political content and understated visuals.

Throughout, Godard and Miéville's presence is articulated in the form of unexpected spoken commentary and seemingly spontaneous onscreen text; Godard himself submits to an interview in Jean-Luc. With its dense social analyses and radical conclusions, its relentless questioning and utter rejection of traditional television conventions, Six fois deux is a fascinating and complex inquiry that goes far beyond Godard and Miéville's expressed intention to "do television differently."

In French with English voiceover.

Producers: Jean Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Miéville. Réalisation: G. Teissedre, W. Lubtchansky, D. Chapuis, P. Rony, A. Luciani, L. Neil, H. False, J. Meillier. Produced by Institut National de l'Audiovisuel/Sonimage.

 
 

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