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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathWieland

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is perplexing in that it ostensibly makes a mockery of its own political content: it is impossible to overlook the breech between the seriousness of the film's texts and the frivolity of its images, affected again by means of the orchestrated collision between image and written text. The film begins with an intertitle, «This film is against the corporate military structure of the global village,» a rhetorical gesture certainly not without precedent in the films of 1968, and is followed by titles which are superimposed over the images of the gerbils such as: «Political Prison«; «1968«; «Full Scale Rebellion is Carried Out«; and «Some of the bravest are lost forever» which juxtaposes a gerbil lying on its back with the photo of Che. Clearly, words and images are not redundant support for one another. Later, trite images of bucolic landscapes are contrasted in rapid-fire succession with the titles «Canada,» «Organic Gardening» and «No DDT being used» which themselves alternate and flash as if to advertise an attraction at a carnival, yet only carelessly promote their own content, sometimes even appearing upside down. These contrasts and conflicts between image and written text foreground the processes of


visualization brought into play when one reads a text and, particularly when the text includes a proper name (such as «Canada»). By alternating between naïve illustration and outright contradiction, in their interaction with the film's textual intertitles and superimpositions, the film's images both illustrate and critique such simple associative pathways – common linkages which may well stand in the way of the complex perception needed for political change. I would argue however that the film does not efface its political content by questioning and poking fun at how that content is transmitted. Indeed, to quote Wollen (on Godard) once more, «it dislocates signifier from signified, asserting – as such a dislocation must – the primacy of the first, without in any way dissolving the second.» [10] Such a separation of word from image does not merely point out the meaning of language for the process of visualization: it insists as much on the haptic qualities of the image as on the graphic qualities of letters and numbers on the screen that would otherwise escape such a direct translation into signification.

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