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FRANCE/TOUR/DETOUR/DEUX/ENFANTS (1977)

TWO DISC SET

"If Roland Barthes replaced Art Linklater on Kids Say the Darndest Things, you might get something like this great work." - Cinematheque Ontario

"Loosely inspired by a 19th-century French elementary school primer, France/Tour/Detour/Two/Children is a series of 12 half-hour 'movements' made for French TV. Each episode consists of a brief prologue at the beginning and a longer visual essay at the end. In between is the heart of the series—a long, unbroken interview by Godard with one of the two children, Arnaud Martin or Camille Virolleaud.

Intercepting the children at points in their daily routine (undressing for bed, walking to school), these remarkable interviews deconstruct daily life through the eyes of the children. Godard approaches them not as children but as 'beings from another world to whom no one had ever spoken, until the moment that I talked to them.' He debates philosophy and ethics with them: Are your dreams reality? Is night time or space? Is school modeled after the conformist policies of the military? Is it right that having or lacking money should determine so much of one's life?

Approaching subjects such as work, money, and school through the eyes of the children, Godard and Miéville become outsiders, visitors from another planet. They observe the adult world from their new point of view, seeing it as strange. Turning their camera on the children, they watch them in their daily rituals, using the technology of video to break down their movements, slowing them down, speeding them up, running them backwards.

In its simultaneous use and critique of television techniques such as the interview, Godard and Miéville posit a new interactive form of television, one which can be transformed by its subject. This is everything that television could be, but is not.

Perhaps the most successful examination of the production of the Social ever put on video, France/Tour/Detour/Two/Children remains extremely funny and moving, always resolving itself in purely human terms. As Godard sums it up: 'I was interested in children, and I was interested to understand what's wrong with the relation between work and love by looking at what children want.'"

in french with english subtitles

picture quality: 6/10

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