Jean-Luc Godard b. 1930
Schick Commerical (1971)
Duration: 60 seconds

Godard & Gorin, according to the profitable contract signed with the publicity agency Dupuy Compton, from which they had a salary, were forced to propose one project per month and deliver at least one advertisement film per year. For Schick, they got the budget to pay the whole crew for a week, even though the shooting only took half a working day.

Schick was owned by ultra-Conservative, capitalist extraordinaire Patrick Frawley. Does this matter, that Godard made a commercial to help sell products for a company whose profits supported political causes antithetical to his own? We are all complicit in these hypocrisies, small and large, as we use and consume objects each day whose sources in the global matrix are often obscure. If Godard made the commercial to help fund his more radical projects (perhaps Tout va bien, the following year?) then do the two projects cancel each other out? Is there some sort of ledger to keep track? Is it okay to denounce the enemy, and then collaborate with the enemy, as long as you can come up with some sort of intellectual rationalization for your actions? -- Nicholas Rombes

Jean-Luc Godard was a guest at the University of Southern California in 1968, discussing his work on a panel with King Vidor, Roger Corman, Peter Bogdanovich and Sam Fuller. This was at the close of a cinematic decade that Godard had owned; now, breaking with his previous work, he was becoming more political and less accessible. One of the discussion’s most telling moments came toward the end, when an audience member asked, “Monsieur Godard, are you more interested in making films or making social commentary?” Godard coolly replied, “I see no difference between the two.” -- Zach Wigon