Monday, November 20, 2006
Godard's "Two Or Three Things I Know About Her..."
I am still sick but I am determined to go see this movie in the next two days. It's at the most wonderful FILM FORUM until November 30th.
Here is the story:(1966) Is her hair dark chestnut or light brown? Is she Marina Vlady or Juliette Janson? asks the narrator (Godard himself) in a conspiratorial whisper. She’s both: an actress in a film and a housewife from the Paris suburbs who turns tricks in the city once a month to make ends meet — and to pay for the latest just-right new outfit, as seen in omnipresent fashion mags. As we follow her on a typical day, Godard regularly cuts away to the building cranes that loom above the Paris region transforming the city (the “Her” of the title), the sound arbitrarily alternating from silence to grinding construction noises; to characters who casually address the camera in the midst of the action; to a long conversation between complete strangers in a bistro, the whole underscored by the relentless thuddings of a pinball machine; and to, most famously, the camera’s unblinking gaze at the cosmic whirls of foam in a coffee cup. In many ways a summing up of Godard’s concerns and techniques from that decade in which he single-handedly redefined the avant-garde: the prevalence of prostitution of all kinds in modern society; America in Vietnam (producer Raoul Levy as an American correspondent speculates that for the million dollars it costs to kill one Viet Cong, LBJ could have 20,000 prostitutes); the advent of the consumer society (one of the final shots is of a colorful product “graveyard”); even existential angst. The widescreen photography by legendary Godard collaborator Raoul Coutard (Contempt, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville) has been restored with its diamond bright colors of late 60s haute kitsch, with new subtitles by veteran Godard translator Lenny Borger. Winner of the Prix Marilyn Monroe (!), awarded by an all-woman jury including Marguerite Duras. “Its virtuoso display of confession and analysis, the sublime and ridiculous, show Godard’s deft grasp of the subversive nature of laughter and passions. Too good to miss.” – Time Out (London). “The richest of Godard’s films...a uniquely rewarding film that requires many viewings.” – James Monaco, The Movie Guide. “A pivotal film, anticipating the mood and ideas that brought about les événements of 1968.” – Philip French, The Observer. “Raoul Coutard ’s camera explores faces, rooms, buildings, cars, Coke bottles and Ajax cans, all with Brechtian dispassion.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times. “I wanted to include everything: sports, politics, even groceries. Everything should be put into a film.” – Godard.
Posted by IF THE BIRDS KNEW at 10:51 AM