Godard shilling for Schick

The ever brilliant UbuWeb just tweeted out a link to a Jean-Luc Goddard commercial for Schick aftershave from 1971.

I’m embedding the YouTube version above because the UbuWeb version has no clean embed option I can see.

What’s more, the commentary on this commercial by Nicolas Rombes points out the polemic this might represent for Godard’s politics.

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?

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