DURING SEQUENCE IN WHICH CAMERA TRACES ROAD OF JFK ASSASSINATION
Filmed during the year leading up to the election of Donald Trump as president, Jean-Baptiste Thoret's documentary We Blew It takes its title from a line spoken by Peter Fonda in Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider. As The Hollywood Reporter's Bernard Besserglik describes it, "Jean-Baptiste Thoret's enthralling documentary We Blew It tackles the riddle of the 1960s head-on — a riddle that has been the subject of lively debate virtually since the day the decade ended. How, after that heady upsurge of youthful idealism and revolt, did we get to where we are now? What happened to the dreams and visions of the peace-and-love generation? What were the twists and turns that brought us from Easy Rider to Donald Trump?"
CineSeries' Guillaume Meral brings up Brian De Palma in his discussion of a shot that traces the road in Dallas where JFK was assassinated in 1963 (a description that cannot help but also remind of the scene in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, when Travis meets the gun dealer):
Basically, We Blew It is a film that deals with the question of the years '60-'70 by questioning their very existence. The work of a director who evolves in a landscape of images and is all too aware of the impact of these images themselves not to wonder if they have not printed in the retina of the popular unconscious a reality that never took place. A dialectic that is found in particular in the staging bias of Thoret. Filmmaker obviously cinephile, the author multiplies the references to New-Hollywood to question his own references. We think of the scene where the camera is walking in Dallas, on the road on which JFK died as if it were scanning the traces of a perennial trauma. As the screen sweeps the asphalt, an oppressive music straight out of a film by Brian De Palma, THE filmmaker who made this fatal day of November 15, 1963 the reason for his cinema, accentuates and invades the entire sound space. As if Thoret summoned the spectrum of the director of Blow Out to derealize what he films and plunge into an agonizing abstraction, which exceeds the factual historical event to touch something more disturbing. For those who arrive in the empty room of all references, the tools work in the first degree, but for the viewer initiated to its author and his cinephilia, Thoret brings a historical event to his cinematographic representation, as if the passage of a historical event in a regime of specific images had altered the initial reality. Did New Hollywood invent these years? Has cinema created America? This is the agonizing question that runs through the author's approach, seeking the traces of cinema in what he films.