In the mid-1970s, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville adopted the medium of television in order to denounce its usual content. In Grenoble in 1975-1976, they made a series of six 100-minute programmes, each subdivided into two episodes (an essay and a long filmed interview) devised to be broadcast to as wide a public as possible. In this episode, they analyse the process of producing a social event through media images, especially photography.
In this programme made for French television, Godard and Miéville address press photography from a very unusual perspective, by looking at the approach of author-photographers from an economic angle. What, basically, constitutes the picture trade? What networks do they circulate in, and how does this circulation alter the authors’ original intentions? These are all questions (the “price” of a picture, the funding of the press) that point out the blind spots of modern communications that, “naturally”, aim for transparency and objectivity. Multiplying powerful artistic strokes (the critical reworking of the account’s key words using the graphic palette, the curt sobriety of the initiatives, the striking art of comparisons, the poetry of manipulating documents, etc.) and wrong-footing a great many received ideas about information and news, the filmmakers display a consummate art of cinematic demonstration.
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