Synopsis by Judd Blaise
Jean-Luc Godard's Sympathy for the Devil, also known as One Plus One, uses both documentary and staged sequences, alternating between an inside look at a rock band's recording process and reflections on contemporary politics and aesthetics. One half of the film focuses on the Rolling Stones, as they rehearse and ultimately record the song that would become "Sympathy for the Devil." By presenting repeated takes of the entire composition, the film allows the viewer to witness the progressive evolution of the song from its original, slower conception to the more percussive version that became the final recording. The other half of the film -- which is occasionally accompanied by the song -- presents a series of sequences dealing with issues like black power, pornography, racism, and Marxism, amongst others. These sequences, which often focus on a group of revolutionary youth in Paris, provide a chance for Godard to inject political commentary and meta-fictional musings on the nature of cinema. These more cerebral scenes serve as counterpoint to the direct presentation of the creative process seen in the Stones' studio sessions, and provide oblique commentary on the political meanings of popular music.
Black-Panthers, counter-culture, Marxism, pornography, revolution