Sympathy for the Devil (1968) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Godard's documentation of late 1960s Western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of news media, the mediated image, a growing technocratic society, women's liberation, the May revolt in France and the power of language. Cutting between three major scenes, including the Rolling Stones in the studio, the film is visually intercut with Eve Democracy (Wiazemsky) using graffiti which amalgamates organisations, corporations and ideologies. Godard also examines the role of the revolutionary within Western culture. Although he believes Western culture needs to be destroyed, it can only be done so by the rejection of intellectualisation. "There is only one way to be an intellectual revolutionary, and that is to give up being an intellectual"

  • In the '60s, having as the background the rehearsal and recording of "Sympathy for the Devil" from the classic album "Beggar's Banquet" by those revolutionary bad boys the Rolling Stones - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones, plus Marianne Faithful. Godard documents other contemporary revolutionary and ideological movements - Black Power through the Black Panthers, feminism, communism, even fascism - entwined with the reading of a cheap pulp political novel divided into chapters: "The Stones Rolling"; "Outside Black Novel"; "Sight and Sound"; "All About Eve"; "The Heart of Occident"; "Inside Black Syntax"; and, "Under the Stones the Beach."


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