If you use stars, people will give you money. And so Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin went to work on what would be their first commercial narrative feature since coming together to form the radical Dziga-Vertov-Group filmmaking collective in the aftermath of May 68. Enter Yves Montand and Jane Fonda as the stars, the latter of whose public support for the militant cause could serve as mutually beneficial for her own revolutionary credentials and for the publicity of Godard and Gorin's film itself.
Tout Va Bien [Everything's Going Fine] places Fonda and Montand in the roles of Her and Him, that is, a modern couple representative of the middle-class global bourgeoisie circa 1972. She's a radio journalist at the French bureau of the American Broadcasting System; he's an advertisement director who before 68's social upheavals served as a Nouvelle Vague screenwriter. Through Fonda's and Montand's star-personas, Godard and Gorin investigate how the sausage is made, both metaphorically (movie financing) and literally (industrial food processing), in the process questioning what it means to be involved or engaged socially, politically, and romantically.
Taking a cue from the tricolour of the French flag, Godard and Gorin adopt the language of Frank Tashlin to discover whether or not, four years on, May 68's revolutionary spirit has not already been perverted into a living pop-art Looney Tunes, with society having finally transformed into a playground of consumption and commodity. With its bravura scenes of a factory cross-sectioned like a dollhouse (a nod to Tashlin-protégé Jerry Lewis' film The Ladies Man) and an oscillating supermarket tracking-shot (one of many quotations of Godard's 60s work such as Weekend, La Chinoise, Le Mépris, and À bout de souffle), Tout Va Bien remains a vital film of the 1970s and for a world gone out-of-control.
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