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"une femme est une femme (a woman is a woman)" (1961) - jean-luc godard
posted on 2-Jul-2002 by anton

this is the first film shot by godard in color. "a woman is a woman" is light and carefree comedy, easily accessible, with a few moments of cut-up montage and gentle absurdity. it paces nicely through the story, full of cute, playful moments, with especially memorable performance by anna karina (spontaneous, child-like, stubborn future wife of the director). genre-wise, it is supposed to be a musical, more or less a homage to hollywood films in that genre. of course with godard one ends up watching cinematic techniques and visual treats more than actually following the story, which trots along with the overall airy feel.

to add to the atmosphere of the insider filmmaking fun, godard throws in a number of film references that are almost impossible to miss - belmondo's mention of "breathless", or truffaut's "jules and jim" and "shoot the piano player" casually mentioned throughout the picture.

the music is worth a separate mention, michel legrand makes it an attribute of different sets, cutting it off and switching it as the camera moves around. this is so unusual, and yet strangely effective. this score is inseparable from the movie, it would not work by itself, only as carefully chosen background for particular scenes, transcending its usual secondary role and becoming an integral part of the film.

it is a cute and light picture, quite unlike other godard material I have seen. with its distant feel of the sixties and cheerful laid-back atmosphere, despite the supposed emotional turmoil of the characters, it wins you over with its instant appeal.


 
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