Tout Va Bien [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1972]

Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin were nearing the end of their collaborative investigation of new possibilities in political filmmaking when they joined forces with leftist celebrities Jane Fonda and Yves Montand for this bitterly funny comedy drama, which after many years out of circulation has been given an outstanding presentation in this DVD release from The Criterion Collection. Tout Va Bien has been given a letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.66:1, which has also been enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16 x 9 monitors. Digitized at a high bit rate, the images are crisp and colorful, capturing the ruddy, natural look of film without magnifying its flaws. The film's original single-channel audio mix has been preserved in Dolby Digital Mono; the film is in French, with optional English subtitles. As is their custom, Criterion have loaded this release with relevant and well-presented bonus materials, most notably Letter to Jane, an essay film in which Godard and Gorin use the famous photo of Jane Fonda visiting Hanoi as a jumping-off point for a less-than-charitable discussion of their one-time collaborator's political motives and integrity. First screened as a companion piece with Tout Va Bien, Letter to Jane certainly serves as a fascinating extension of the filmmakers' opinions about the role of intellectuals in the revolution, though it says as much about Godard and Gorin as it does about Mao, Marx...or Fonda. Also included is a short onscreen interview with Godard from 1972, a longer interview with Gorin shot for this release in 2003, and a 40-page book with essays on the films from writers J. Hoberman, Kent Jones, and Colin MacCabe, as well as highlights from an interview with Godard and Gorin published in Sight and Sound in 1973. In many respects, Godard's work from this period is as provocative and polarizing as ever, but its importance has not dimmed with the passage of time, and students of political filmmaking should be grateful for this "master's class" presentation of a vital but little-seen work.
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Overview

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer
  • Letter to Jane (1972), Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin's postscript film to Tout Va Bien
  • 1972 video interview excerpt with Jean-Luc Godard
  • New video interview with Jean-Pierre Gorin
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • 40-page booklet including essays by film critics J. Hoberman and Kent Jones and Godard biographer Colin MacCabe and an excerpted interview with Gorin and Godard from 1972

Synopsis

Tout Va Bien
After collaborating on a series of small-scale political films under the alias of the Dziga Vertov Group, pioneering French director Jean-Luc Godard and filmmaker and activist Jean-Pierre Gorin attempted to fuse their Maoist theories of revolutionary art with a more accessible structural framework in this leftist comedy drama. Susan (Jane Fonda) is an American journalist working as a French correspondent for a radio network; her husband, Jacques (Yves Montand), was once a major filmmaker during the French New Wave, but now supports himself directing television commercials as he tries to come to terms with his political responsibilities. Jacques tags along when Susan visits a sausage factory to interview the manager (Vittorio Caprioli); their visit unexpectedly coincides with a wildcat strike staged by the plant's employees, who hold the boss captive as they lash out against both their employers and their union in a bid for more money and greater dignity. Over the course of the day, many of the participants speak to the camera about their varying degrees of commitment to radical political and economic change, while we are also afforded an inside look at Susan and Jacques' splintered relationship. Shortly after Tout Va Bien was released, Jane Fonda made her famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) visit to Hanoi, an action which led Godard and Gorin to create a companion film, Letter to Jane, in which they dissected a photo of Fonda in Vietnam for its multiple levels of political meaning. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda - She
  • Yves Montand
    Yves Montand - He
  • Vittorio Caprioli
    Vittorio Caprioli - Factory Manager
  • Eric Chartier
    Eric Chartier - Lucien
  • Image coming soon
    Yves Gabrielli - Leon
Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.