film-documentaire.fr | PORTAIL DU FILM DOCUMENTAIRE

img img
France, Tour Détour Deux Enfants
© INA
1/5
COMMENT VISIONNER CE FILM ?

Jean-Luc Godard observe la journée de deux enfants d'une dizaine d'années, un petit garçon et une petite fille, pour s'interroger sur la réalité, sur les mots, sur les images, et aussi sur la télévision.
Au cours de chaque émission, composée de rubriques variées à la manière d'un magazine, Jean-Luc Godard établit des allers et retours : entre l'école et la famille, entre les loisirs et le travail, entre le sommeil et le réveil, tels que les enfants les perçoivent et les racontent en réponse à des questions qui les surprennent.
D'autres allers et retours suivent : entre les choses et le langage, entre les apparences et ce qu'elles cachent, entre les enfants et les adultes...

1- Obscur/Chimie
Camille est chez elle, dans sa chambre. Le journaliste la questionne sur le jour et la nuit, l’existence, l’image, le travail ménager, l’obscurité et la lumière.

2- Lumière/Physique
Arnaud est dans la rue, à contre-jour. Le journaliste l’interroge sur la lumière, la clarté, sur ce qu’on peut éclairer et tirer au clair.

3- Connu/Géométrie/Géographie et Vérité/Télévision/Histoire
Camille va en classe. Questions sur l’école et la maison, le trajet de l’une à l’autre, sur le mouvement, sur les distances.

4- Inconnu/Technique
Arnaud, en classe, lit un livre de lecture. Sa maîtresse commente le texte et pose des questions.

5- Impression/Dictée
Arnaud tire des stencils d’une leçon de calcul. Questions sur l’impression, l’imprimerie, sur ce qui l’impressionne, sur la mémoire.

6- Expression/Français
Camille parle avec le journaliste de l’école et du travail, du travail et de l’argent, du cri et de l’emprisonnement, du fait aussi que personne ne puisse venir voir les enfants à l’école.

7- Violence/Grammaire
Le journaliste converse avec Camille, punie par sa maîtresse à recopier 50 fois la même phrase, sur l’obéissance, le devoir, les lois – celles de l’école et de la vie –, la copie et l’invention, l’école et l’entreprise.

8- Désordre/Calcul
Arnaud rentre de l’école avec un ami et répond au journaliste sur le commerce, l’échange, les mathématiques, la propreté, la multiplication, l’argent et la valeur des choses.

9- Pouvoir/Musique
Camille lit une BD en écoutant un disque de Mozart. Questions sur la musique et son appartenance, sur le rôle du son par rapport à celui de l’image, sur le bruit, le savoir et le pouvoir.

10- Roman/Économie
Le journaliste parle avec Arnaud, qui regarde à la télévision un film de James Bond, du spectacle, de la TV, du regard et de la digestion, de l’ennui, de l’envie de raconter et de parler, de la solitude.

11- Réalité/Logique
Camille dîne avec ses parents et son petit frère. On n’entend que les commentaires du repas. Camille mange presque sans parler.

12- Rêve/Morale
Arnaud se prépare à se coucher. Robert Linard parle avec lui du sommeil, du rêve, de la pensée, de l’existence, du bonheur et du malheur, de la vie et de la mort, de ce qui est obscur et clair, des origines du monde.

France Tour Détour Deux Enfants uses a gentle teaching method which encourages the viewers to establish themselves the connections necessary to develop their thinking about the world. The protagonists, Camille and Arnaud, two children of about ten who alternate as the focus of an episode, are the essential element in the teaching method, pretexts for returning to a basic language. More than ever, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, instead of applying the theory through practice, create the theory at the same time as practising it. Since their aim is to "live their lives and see themselves on television", what interests them is not so much the content of these existential questions (the body in time and space, work, freedom...), as the way of asking them. In each interview, the journalist's questions involve examining the way of interviewing, itself. It therefore appears to be a specific form of maieutics which comes from the experience of living.

1- Obscur/Chimie
The first program begins at night. Camille gets undressed and then goes to bed, while "the monsters" of consumer society use the motorways to get home as quickly as possible. Jean-Luc Godard, however, slows the image down. The night is the essence of questioning, differentiating first between what is light and what is obscure or dark. It is also the origin of things and their chemistry. The "true" interview of Camille, behind which we hear the noise of housework, concerns night in the literal sense ("is night space or is it time?") and in the figurative sense (the night of a person's existence and of a person's image). Camille's replies are surprising and incite us to think. They refer to "the story of a beginning", inside (the night, the child in the womb) in relation to outside (the day, the mother).

2- Lumière/Physique
In the second program, day has broken. Arnaud sets off for school while "the monsters rise out of the earth", i.e. from the metro to "go to the factory". The voiceover exaggerates the system in which we are all involved in order to highlight it: "They are going off to serve major civil and military companies." The first interview, which dealt with the origin, was concentrated and calm. Here, the little boy, filmed against the light, is distracted by the street and the difficulty of seeing the solution (light) to the problem (darkness). This second movement, which takes place in the morning, sets up this passage. It is no longer a question of chemistry, but of physics, of the operation of opening up to the light. The story of a photographic development further draws out the metaphor.

3- Connu/Géométrie/Géographie
Camille runs to school, as "the monsters" go to work, because it is part of the preordained course of their lives: "liberal ideas prohibited [...] always the straight and narrow", says the voiceover. Today's lesson concerns the geometry and geography of the mind and its ability to open up to the unknown. With a close-up on Camille, the reporter calls into question his preconceived ideas about the dimensions of the human being and the importance of work in his life ("do you think of yourself more as a house or as a school?"). To round off the interview, the presenters propose a story about the different ways of becoming dissidents against the system and leaving the known.

4- Inconnu/Technique
In the fourth movement, a fixed camera, "not a camera that watches but one that transmits", films Arnaud in the classroom, without interviewing him as in the other programmes, based on the principle that the image itself contains enough information. To approach the unknown, it is sometimes necessary to forget technique. At school, they still know how to transmit the unknown through individuals and books, while in the world of the "monsters", technique predominates: "The monsters would be incapable of understanding a human language." To explain this phenomenon by means of a story, we are shown a woman who; although she desires the unknown, has become a machine through work.

5- Impression/Dictée
The fifth programme is based on all the possible meanings of the word impression as a metaphor for submission due to the division of work. While Arnaud already uses a small duplicating machine, "the monsters have invented machines which dictate to them a series of orders that they obey". Against this system, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville propose an attempt to see things differently by filming silence live (Arnaud does not always want to reply!). To fight against submission, they denounce, like extremist feminists ( a pregnant woman naked in front of her boss), men who "condemn the majority of women to dictation, to copying, to reproduction, and not to production".

6-Expression/Français
In reply to the fifth episode which played on the word "impression", the sixth deals with the word expression: the expression lies in this magnificent breakdown of the image of Camille running during break, alongside images of protest. The word means the opposite of "pressure". And it becomes even more vivid when Camille, for whom the reporter has become a pressure, clearly her his indifference to him. Expressing oneself does not mean wanting to have more, like the "monsters", but rather a song by Léo Ferré ("your style is your ass") or young girls doing sport. It is also what Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville are trying to do: "We are making neighbourhood television, not national television."

7- Violence/Grammaire
The seventh movement goes back to the roots of the relationship between violence and law which rules our life much more than we believe. Violence, commonly illustrated by pictures of war, is in fact clearly present: when the teacher, representing grammar, i.e. rules to be followed, punishes Camille and she carries out orders, there is violation. Robert Linard asks the little girl about the origin of violence, the concept of marginality and exception in relation to rules and models, by poetic means: "When a river overflows, do you think it's the fault of the river or the fault of the bank which squeezed it too hard?" Like an image within an image, the television of Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville admits that it is "too alone to do this work" and announces a story about a landscape stuck in a postcard.

8- Désordre/Calcul
The eighth programme proposes a cause-and-effect relationship bringing together the two terms in the title: a system of exaggerated calculation and the multiplication of goods and flows can only result in disorder, i.e. Arnaud's shoplifting. The true report itself takes the side of disorder, pushing the live aspect until it interferes with the editorial team's "calculations". Questioning Arnaud and his friend who "couldn't care less" about trade and property, Robert Linard compares television to a trade based on speech. The story takes the example of a specific tradesman, the United States' Treasury Secretary - the epitome of capitalism.

9- Pouvoir/Musique
When Camille listens to music alone in her bedroom, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville show how much music is related to solitude: far from being the companion ("goods: they were the monsters' favourite companion") broadcast by the transistor radio, music is on the contrary listened to alone. The reporter asks her about the relationship between power and knowledge and about the difference between property and power. He highlights the ambiguity of the word power: can the most beautiful thing possible (music) have a power of the same sort as the power of a dictator (Hitler) described in the story? On the contrary, the enticing power of music is that of the sirens and of the violin echoing in the corridors of the metro.

10-Roman/Économie
Even imagination is linked to economics: it is because they are economic with imagination that "the monsters" read bad novels or watch series on television. The reporter then films Arnaud, well on his way to becoming one of those criticised, watching a James Bond film. He raises the question of what is true and false, of inventiveness and copying. Television is indeed the first medium to be economic in this way, functioning like a moneybox or a shop window: when you need a story, all you have to do is take one. The story humorously warns us of what we may become through lack of imagination.

11- Réalité/Logique
The eleventh programme, which is very different from the others, is simply a long fixed shot of Camille sitting at the table with her family after school. Although Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville simply position their camera which also records all the conversation of the parents around Camille; they do so to provide a better idea of the girl's solitude. Representative of everyone, this long scene is emblematic of a tragic reality specific to humanity: beyond the mechanisms of chance (the throw of the dice), "the monsters' two most important inventions are sex and death". Camille is no longer the main player, "solitude is the main student", and the interview has been replaced by the conventional questions of the parents. This logic also recurs in the story of hopes - May 1968 for the CGT, the demonstrations) constantly betrayed by lies.

12- Rêve/Morale
The last episode rounds off the series. While Arnaud is caught sleeping, Robert Linard raises with him the same existential questions that he asked Camille in the first episode when she was going to bed. But this time, we plunge into the night, as one might plunge into the origin of creation, rather than passing through, to come out of it the next day. With dream, one should be able to flee the morality of the "monsters" (industry, fear, poverty, etc.), even in the cold light of day. And there, television can no longer do anything. This is no longer "the story of once upon a time, as in the beginning ", but "that of there always will be" the image of the solitude of the man propping up the bar, the only one capable of dreaming. The presenters add: "We aren't French national television. We don't want to die stupid."
(Marie-Anne Lanavère)