Wednesday 23 December 2020

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her [1967]

 Godard’s love for pop-art, as evidenced as early as his amusing and vibrant A Woman is a Woman, attained dramatic proportions – marriage of high and low art, serious and sardonic, political and mundane, philosophic and banal – in his dazzlingly colourful, irreverent and self-reflexive 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her. This duality was also manifested in the fact that he shot large sections in parallel with his sly genre exercise Made in U.S.A. (his final collaboration with Anna Karina) – for a month, he filmed the former in the mornings and the latter in the afternoons – and in its shared topic of casual prostitution with his iconic earlier gem Vivre sa Vie (incidentally, Buñuel’s masterful Belle de Jour too came out the same year). That aside, it covered an array of themes – in what might be one of his first cine-essays, blurring narrative fiction with meditations and polemics – as he delivered stinging commentary on American imperialism that reached grotesque proportions in the Vietnam War, de Gaulle’s conversion of Parisian suburbs into a modernist cityscape that many found hideous, and the vacuous, hyper-addictive culture of unbridled consumerism among the petit-bourgeoisie. These themes – in a fragmented, freewheeling, Brechtian manner, and accompanied by Godard’s voiceover delivered like a conspiratorial whisper – laced the depiction of 24 hours in the life of Juliette (Marina Vlady), a middle-class married woman, who, in order to earn something extra to buy stuff, resorts to part-time prostitution. Two moments typified the film’s impish wit – a brothel that doubles as daycare for kids; and Juliette’s kid son’s deadpan dream of twin brothers fusing into one, which made him realize that they represented the unification of North and South Vietnam.






Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Genre: Avant-Garde/Experimental Film/Essay Film/Agitprop/Social Satire/Political Satire

Language: French

Country: France

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