Reviews

Godard Classics

5

In the early '60s, Jean-Luc Godard still loved American B-movies and their influence can be felt in his seminal `new wave' picture, Vivre Sa Vie (1962). The beautiful Anna Karina, then Godard's wife, plays suburban wife Nana, whose tragic life is depicted in 12 episodes. Look closely, though, and you'll notice that the real focus is the disintegration of Godard's relationship with Karina - - it's filmmaking at its most personal and affecting.

In the humorous Masculin Féminin (1966), Godard ditches the nods to American films to turn his playful gaze closer to home. Ostensibly a film about a young demobbed soldier, Paul (Jean-Pierre Léaud), and a bubblegum pop singer, Madeleine (Chantal Goya), it's actually more concerned with dissecting the kind of `new wave' cinema that Godard himself was so instrumental in kick-starting. Set in Swinging Paris, 1965, it's also a movie of tremendous verve, imagination and wit.

Two Or Three Things I Know About Her (1967) again sees the director firing on all cylinders, gleefully assaulting the viewer with jump-cuts, soundtrack cut-outs and straight-to-camera addresses. ""You Are Watching A Movie!"" is the constant screech, but Godard's devices excite as well as alienate, adding electric crackle as Marina Vlady's Juliette tries to find contentment by selling herself. Often overlooked in a body of work that includes A Bout De Souffle, Le Mépris and Alphaville, Two Or Three Things remains shockingly relevant, its oppressive urban landscapes anticipating JG Ballard's bleak visions of consumer isolation. Dazzling stuff - and fun, too.

Film Details

  • tbc
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: April 1st 2005