Dziga Vertov’s “Very Simple Slogans” for the Kino-Eye technique

1. Film-drama is the opium of the people.
2. Down with the immortal kings and queens of the screen! Long live the ordinary mortal, filmed in life at his daily tasks!
3. Down with the bourgeois fairy-tale script! Long live life as it is!
4. Film-drama and religion are deadly weapons in the hands of capitalists. By showing our revolutionary way of life, we will wrest that weapon from the enemy’s hands.
5. The contemporary artistic drama is a vestige of the old world. It is an attempt to pour our revolutionary reality into bourgeois molds.
6. Down with the staging of everyday life! Film us as we are.
7. The scenario is a fairy tale invented for us by a writer. We live our own lives, and we do not submit to anyone’s fictions.
8. Each of us does his task in life and does not prevent anyone else from working. The film workers’ task is to film us so as not to interfere with our work.
9. Long live the kino-eye of the proletarian revolution!

John Cassavetes


"In a body of work in which gender roles always matter, Sarah is, in more ways than one, the ultimate Cassavetes woman, and Robert the ultimate Cassavetes man. Sarah, an emotional live wire, is kin to Mabel Longhetti in A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Myrtle Gordon in Opening Night (1977), women who struggle valiantly with their capacity and need for love, with “how to love” and “where to put it.” A boozy charmer in a rumpled tux, with a knack for turning all interactions into transactions, Robert is a more cultured brother to the suave strip-club owner Cosmo Vitelli in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), or an alternate-world variant of the suburbanites in Husbands (1970), more successful and even more hollow.” — Dennis Lim (A Fitful Flow)

Beau travail


Beau travail concludes with the frenzied dance of Galoup on the disco floor that we have seen, intermittently, throughout the film. The dance seems both regimented and wild at the same time. If, in the previous scene, we are led to believe that Galoup is about to commit suicide, this concluding dance suggests another way to imagine the male body. There is, after all, a connection between the last two scenes. The last image we see of Galoup’s body before the dance shows Galoup’s arm in close-up, a vein throbbing. In the final scene, the vitality, the pulsating energy, of that detail explodes. If the film suggests, however briefly, that there are ways to imagine the breakdown of the whore/Madonna stereotype in relationship to women, no such possibility exists in relationship to Galoup. His pulsating body, whether throbbing slightly in contemplation of suicide or performing frenetically on the dance floor, cannot escape the dualities of regimentation and desire, duty and passion. – Judith Mayne