Landscape Theory Beyond Japan: Jean-Luc Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group

Landscape Theory Beyond Japan: Jean-Luc Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group

The Dziga Vertov Group, Wind From the East (still), 1969.

Landscape Theory

Landscape Theory Beyond Japan: Jean-Luc Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group

Admission starts at $5

March 25, 2023, 2pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Saturday, March 25 at 2pm for a screening of a selection of films by the Dziga Vertov Group followed by a conversation between Go Hirasawa and Ethan Spigland.

In this program, we examine cinematic and political approaches to landscape by radical filmmakers outside of Japan during the same time period. Masao Adachi’s A.K.A. Serial Killer has affinities with the geological cinema of Straub-Huillet as well as the politics of representation found in Jean-Luc Godard’s work with the Dziga Vertov Group. After the events of 1968, Godard rejected illusionistic narrative, concentrating instead on a series of films that merged documentary, formal innovation, and radical politics. Working in collaboration with other filmmakers, most notably Jean-Pierre Gorin, they formed the Dziga Vertov Group, named after the Russian avant-garde filmmaker. The Dziga Vertov Group’s Wind From the East (1969), Struggle in Italy (1970), and Here and Elsewhere (1975) all engage in various ways with the theme of landscape and politics. The screening constitutes the second event of the Landscape Theory: Post-1968 Radical Cinema in Japan program curated by Go Hirasawa and Ethan Spigland.

The program is co-presented with Pratt Institute, and co-sponsored by the Japan Foundation.

Films and more details in this screening are to be announced—stay tuned.

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.   
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Landscape, Revolution, Documentary, Experimental Film
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Landscape Theory: Post-1968 Radical Cinema in Japan

Jean-Luc Godard (1930 - 2022) was a Franco-Swiss filmmaker, critic, and a leading member of the French New Wave movement of the 1960s alongside such luminaries as Francois Truffaut, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Agnes Varda, and Alain Resnais. Known for his stylistic innovations that deconstructed the conventions of mainstream narrative cinema, and expanded the possibilities of film form, Godard has been hailed as the most provocative, radical, and influential of the New Wave filmmakers. His work expressed a profound knowledge of film history, and a comprehensive understanding of the currents of modern thought, especially existential and Marxist philosophy.

Jean-Pierre Gorin (b. 1943) is a French filmmaker and professor best known for his work with Jean-Luc Godard during Godard’s “radical” period. Gorin, a student of Althusser, Foucault, and Lacan, was a leftist well before meeting Godard in 1966, and had a crucial influence on his thought. Gorin and Godard co-founded the Dziga Vertov Group and together produced an extraordinary series of overtly political films. Gorin left France in the mid-1970s to accept a teaching position at the University of California, San Diego and remained on the Visual Arts faculty thereafter. He continued to make films, most notably Poto and Cabengo (1978), Routine Pleasures (1986) and My Crasy Life (1991).

Go Hirasawa is a film programmer and curator. He has organized special screenings and exhibitions focusing on Japanese cinema and art of the 1960s and 1970s at various art theaters, cinematheques, and film festivals, as well as art museums in Japan and abroad. In 2021, he received a PhD from the Graduate School of Humanities at Leiden University and the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. His most recent publication, Expanded Cinema and Intermedia: Critical Texts of the 1960s (coedited by Ann Adachi-Tasch and Julian Ross), came out in 2020. He also organized the film screening event Japanese Cinema Expanded at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2021.

Ethan Spigland is a professor in the Humanities and Media Studies Department at Pratt Institute. He received an MFA from the Graduate Film Program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and a maitrîse in Philosophy from the University of Paris VIII under the supervision of Gilles Deleuze and Jean-François Lyotard. Ethan is also an award-winning screenwriter, filmmaker, visual artist, critic, and curator. At present, he is working on a documentary about Julius Eastman. He completed two short films in collaboration with renowned architect Steven Holl. One of these, Luminosity Porosity, formed part of an installation at the Gallery Ma in Tokyo, Japan. His project, Elevator Moods, was featured in the Sundance Film Festival and South By Southwest, and won a Webby Award in the Broadband Category. His short film, The Strange Case of Balthazar Hyppolite, won the Gold Medal in the Student Academy Awards, and was shortlisted for an Oscar. He writes regularly on film and media for The Brooklyn Rail, Film Comment, and many other publications. He is a contributor to the forthcoming book Reading with Jean-Luc Godard on Caboose Press.

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