Sympathy for the Devil (One Plus One) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sympathy for the Devil (One Plus One) Reviews

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November 27, 2009
The recording of Beggars Banquet was pivotal in the history of the Rolling Stones, as it was the last full album to feature the incredible Brian Jones. In this film, Godard reveals his deterioration and abilities atrophied, and juxtaposes these sequences ingeniously with political activism and social strife, in order to shape what would become The Rolling Stones' greatest album. We feel the anarchy, we see the anarchy as we watch this film, and with so many events encapsulating the recording and time period, it is a wonder that such an album could be recorded.
November 14, 2009
It's a timestamp that requires quite a lot of footnotes for people who have no experience of that era
½ November 7, 2009
Godardesque musings plus some nice music.
November 3, 2009
The studio footage of The Rolling Stones crafting a classic rock song from scratch is pretty damn cool. The interwoven political commentary, in the form of wholly opaque dramatic scenes, is just Godard being Godard and isn't all that interesting.
½ May 19, 2009
An intersting composition of counter-culture... Black Panther readying for an uprrising, Marxism, women in the democractic world, revolution, fancines and comics and nudie magazines, bookstore pamphleting, Nazi saluting... COUNTERCULTURE and largely misunderstood in ALL sense today, 41 years after the film was released.

It may have to do with the lack of reading going on today.

Oh, yes, and The Rolling Stones, iin better days, and less DIVA personification, rehearsing the song which caused the biggest stir in decades.
May 8, 2009
The Rolling Stones + Jean-Luc Godard. British Invasion and French Imperialism. I'm sorry, just couldn't help meself. I love the film, it was fun and energetic and enjoyable and a delight in its extreme minimalism and stripped narration for something that amounts to declarations and events recording. A very unique film to be honest.
½ April 19, 2009
This film can be a trap for inveterate fans of Rolling Stones that, inadvertently, seek for only a few more takes of scenes from backstage, such as "Gimme Shelter" bring to us, for example. Why use the term "trap"? Because, yes, I am an inveterate lover of Stones. And yes, I fell in this trap. Not that there are not Jagger, Richards, Jones, Wyman, Watts, Hopkins, Marianne Faithfull and Anita Pallemberg. They're all there. But the movie isn't "about the Stones" AT ALL. Godard takes the recordings of the fabulous "brazilian samba" Sympathy for the Devil (Mick's words) that opens the Beggars Banquet to show a picture of the counterculture in the late 60's. It's, therefore, a film-manifest. The film was finished in 68 and shows Godard and his recent approach with Marxism. But you know what? It's a film that gives the impression of having been made only for catechize who sees with his political-ideological discourse and practice techniques of editing and dubbing. I don't know if even the fans of Godard are satisfied with this movie. So, if you search for Rolling Stones here (after all, the idea of a film that reunite political and aesthetic concepts, interspersed by the symbolic music of The Rolling Stones, is excellent, but, please, don't illude yourselves, however), go find "Gimme Shelter". Not to say that there is nothing that the Stones could have done for the film, note that at one point in the film, Jagger has changed the lyrics from "Who killed Kennedy?" to the now classic "Who killed the Kennedys?" While no comment is made on it, this is days after Robert Kennedy has been shot dead (the two murders are also alluded to in Godard's own title One Plus One). The song grew out of the times. Honestly, I assume that this film gave me fear. Godard ended the "intelligentsia". And this is my final word.
April 12, 2009
Este documental muestra un momento clave en la historia de The Rolling Stones. Mas alla de la puesta en escena propuesta por Godard, aca en este filme se puede evidenciar la situacion por la que estaba pasando Brian Jones y la banda. No es tan notoria, pero en el fondo esa ruptura que estaba por venir, se puede percibir.
April 10, 2009
Este documental muestra un momento clave en la historia de The Rolling Stones. Mas alla de la puesta en escena propuesta por Godard, aca en este filme se puede evidenciar la situacion por la que estaba pasando Brian Jones y la banda. No es tan notoria, pero en el fondo esa ruptura que estaba por venir, se puede percibir.
½ March 22, 2009
Well, Stones fans and Godard fans alike might be pissed off by 'Sympathy'. It's bewildering, to say the least. I see the entire film as an elaborate act of rehearsal: There's the obvious in-studio rehearsal going on, where the Stones labor over how best to arrange the famous single that the film is named after [kind of demystifies their songwriting process -- they really do just bullshit and play for hours], and then there's the more complex, Godardian "rehearsal" (in the broader sense) of the sociopolitical developments of the 1960s, with a lot of attention paid to the Black Power movement.

'Sympathy' is brilliant occasionally, but pretty frustrating. To begin with, Godard consistently denies viewers the benefit of linearity, and he rarely cites his sources. Godard does NOT present the audience with a set of lucid/candid monologues organized in standard teleological fashion. No: he prefers for example to toss the audience into a London junkyard where black revolutionaries are executing silent, fair-skinned white women and reciting from Eldridge Cleaver's "Allegory of the Black Eunuchs" (from Cleaver's uncited and [in]famous 'Soul on Ice' -- a text key to unlocking 'Sympathy' that I coincidentally had the pleasure of reading recently), then cut back to impassionate footage of dead time in the studio with Mick and Keith -- STILL rehearsing (in Godard's preferred cut the complete and final recording of "Sympathy for the Devil" isn't even heard!). Godard, cosmopolitan maverick that he is, also mixes in bizarre commentary on the burgeoning student movement, Maoism (still as ambivalent as in 'La Chinoise'), the ethos of the counterculture (Anne Wiazemsky's chin-scratching "Eve Democracy" cameo being a stand-in sequence for this film's heady mixture of platitudes and prophesies), and Marxism as the twentieth century until that moment had interpreted it (of course there's Marxism!). Godard's approach to all this material is interesting; he seems to see as many devils as angels at work in the process of revolution (this is one of the movie's strong points, and it's something that Jagger's lyrics highlight beautifully).

I honestly need to spend more time with 'Sympathy' to determine whether or not it's really productive intellectually, or whether the film's "rehearsal" conceit limits it to simply mapping out (or winnowing down) what's happened in 60's history up to that point, making most of the "criticism" voiced by the actors limp and the diagnostic qualities sham. Godard's moral/political position with reference to all of these 60's films is MADDENINGLY complex, and that complexity is nowhere more evident than with later 60's works like 'Made in U.S.A.', 'La Chinoise', and this film. If nothing else, you've got to credit the man for truly having his FINGER ON THE PULSE of 1968 -- and not just in France (many have commented on how Godard catches and subtly notes the sad contrast between Mick's lyrics pre- and post- RFK's assassination [then extremely current], with the "who killed Kennedy" lyric changing to "who killed the Kennedys?").

'Sympathy for the Devil' will be difficult viewing for anyone who can't channel the interest necessary to understand its innerworkings, but it's definitely a challenge to be risen to, even if one ultimately dismisses it as a failure of this or that sort (not enough Stones, not enough coherence, and not enough [insert a variety of attributes of more conventional filmmaking] would all be decent enough criticisms).
March 20, 2009
Divertida y absurda. Una critica a la sociedad a traves de la gestacion de Sympathy For The Devil de The Rolling Stones. Es magico ver a Los Stones, aun muy jovenes, creando, armando y desarmando este tema que luego se convertiria en uno de sus mayores hits.
½ March 15, 2009
wow. i put off seeing this for so long cause i was like "i don't wanna watch some dumb stones documentary"... i was wrong. i fucking love watching a godard movie for the first time, kinda bummed 'cause i'm running out, but, oh well... this was fuckin' tight though. so, yep... a ton of people on flickster don't like this, which means they're retarded.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2009
Godard intercuts the Stones sessions with endless scenes of revolutionaries in the streets. He aims for political context, but he mainly proves that it was the Sixties and nobody had invented the fast-forward button yet.
½ February 27, 2009
Gets two stars for showing the Stones at their iconic peak but that's about it for me I'm afraid to say. Every shot of the Stones in the studio is just noodling and working on the song Sympathy For The Devil. The other scenes not involving the band just come across as pretentious and dated. Sorry JLG.
February 7, 2009
could've watched two hours of the Stones in the studio
that was amazing
skip through the other parts
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2009
No thankyou - Not interested.
January 7, 2009
What an unusual film!
½ October 26, 2008
I loved the Rolling Stones footage as they work together in the studio on crafting the song, but the rest of the movie was annoyingly pretentious and pointless in my eyes, but maybe I 'didn't get it!' Not for me at all this one
½ September 19, 2008
nice and intriguing but for now I think it's a bit tiring.
August 31, 2008
Political blather and the process of creation. still worth watching for the Stones fans.
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