Deux fois

Screening on Film
Directed by Jackie Raynal.
With Jackie Raynal, Francisco Viader, Oscar.
France, 1968, 35mm, black & white, 66 min.
French and Spanish with English subtitles.
Print source: Cinémathèque de Toulouse

Although Godard was an emblematic figure for Afterimage in its early issues, the journal also took note of other avant-garde directions in France. When Godard was active within the collective of the Dziga Vertov Group, a very different collective of individualistic filmmakers were creating very different films under the banner of the Zanzibar Group and the generous patronage of Sylvina Boissonnas, who left them free to create without scripts and with the luxury to shoot “experimental” films on 35mm. Jackie Raynal has said, “We were influenced more by Andy Warhol and we were closer in spirit to the Factory than the French New Wave. We thought of ourselves as the New New Wave. We were questioning the rules: of having great actors play in films, of plot, of the relationship between image and words.”

Raynal had been an editor on Godard’s Ciné-tracts (1968) and was later to become the programme director of the Bleecker Street Cinema in New York. Deux fois was her first feature and is an extreme tabula rasa of cinema, pared back for a new beginning. As she herself says in the film, it aspires to “the end of meaning.” The French critic Louis Skorecki described it as “thirty shots with barely a spoken word. But this wouldn’t be worth mentioning if Deux fois were not one of the strongest yet… most enigmatic works ever seen.” Noel Burch, an important critic for Afterimage, saw the film as “an intentionally elementary meditation on certain primary functions of cinema…at the roots of film editing such as expectations, exploring the picture, perceptual memory, relationship between on-screen and off-screen space…”

Part of film series

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Afterimage… For a New, Radical Cinema

Other film series with this film

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Zanzibar Films and the Dandies of May 1968