Posted:Mar 9, 2023

A Film in the Making: Jean-Luc Godard Returns to the Big Screen in Japan

“1 PM”, a documentary about Jean-Luc Godard’s journey to the United States in 1968, will be shown at K’s Cinema (Shinjuku) and other venues across Japan starting on April 22. “La Chinoise” and “Two American Audiences” are to be released simultaneously.

Legendary director Jean-Luc Godard sadly passed away last year at the age of 91. The documentary film 1 PM, capturing his journey to the United States in 1968 to make a film, will be shown for the first time in Japan. The film is scheduled to premiere on April 22 at K’s cinema (Shinjuku).

In the autumn of 1968, Godard, known for his highly political voice, turned his attention to the political and cultural situation in the United States. Entitled 1 AM (One American Movie), the film was to be about the growing opposition to the Vietnam War, and the revolution that Godard was convinced was imminent. The project was also a collaboration with direct cinema pioneers Donn Alan Pennebaker and Richard Leacock.

“1 PM” ©Pennebaker Hegedus Films / Jane Balfour Service

However, the dream collaboration between Godard, who had turned his back on commercial cinema, and the documentary pioneers was abandoned after Godard lost interest. Three years later, Pennebaker completed his version of the existing footage, which he titled 1 PM (One Parallel Movie) and released in 1971. Although abandoned, the documentary footage of the Black Panther Party member Eldridge Cleaver and the memorable performance of the Jefferson Airplane provides a glimpse of what Godard’s film might have been.

“Two American Audiences” ©Pennebaker Hegedus Films / Jane Balfour Service

A limited re-release of Godard’s controversial film La Chinoise (1967), which is said to have predicted the May Revolution of 1968, and Two American Audiences (1968), a documentary of one of Godard’s lectures, will be screened at K’s cinema as well. Notably, the film was shot on April 4, 1968, the day of Martin Luther King’s assassination.

“La Chinoise” ©Gaumont

1 PM

1971 / USA / Color / 90min / BD © Pennebaker Hegedus Films / Jane Balfour Service 
Camera: D. A. Pennebaker, Richard Leacock 
Sound: Kate Taylor
Editing: D. A. Pennebaker 
Starring: Jean-Luc Godard, Rip Torn, LeRoi Jones, Eldridge Cleaver, Tom Hayden, Jefferson Airplane 

Opening on April 22 (Saturday) at K's cinema (Shinjuku) and other theatres across Japan.

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