Like a Looney Tunes rendition of The Big Sleep gone New Wave, this chaotic crime thriller and acidly funny critique of consumerism features Anna Karina as the most brightly dressed private investigator in film history, searching for a former lover who might have been assassinated.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Not really my thing. Here, Godard's deconstructive devices--addresses 2 viewers, cartoon influence on gesture, abrasive sound tricks, pop-art insertions, persistent intertextual quotations/references--feel curiously tiresome, even insufferable. Gone is the camera's cosmic regard 4 Karina, gone is the surprising tonal clarity & honesty of PIERROT LE FOU. The final scene is a great documentary moment, though too late.
Where is truth in a world so inundated with mass-produced/disseminated signs & tropes that life itself is outpaced and always arrives, too late, as a cartoonish imitation of culture? "Now fiction overtakes reality." Meaning is prefabricated & implied; no need to bring it; we know these scenes well. Interaction reduced to rhythm; polemic to an aural aesthetic; the world to mise-en-scene. So where from here is forward?
Definitive Godard - the purest expression I've yet seen of his fascination with language in all its forms, a theme given constant attention to through nonsensical dialogue. The politics are obvious, but the contradictions inherent in Godard's condemnation of American culture and usage of pop art aesthetics points to the film's deeper interests - that of communication, especially between the director and his audiencs.
"...he wrote an editorial about how fascism was the currency of morality""...I stopped working in advertising because I believe it to be a form of fascism". Oh, Godard. Oh, the french 60s. What a gloriously pretentious commie time.
The couple's last joint effort, made when they were already divorced. One can feel that cold distance between the two: Anna seems to be forsaken by Jean-Luc's frigid look, who was more than ever interested in the experimentation of his cinematic language. There's a total absence of feelings here, there ain't no love. There's only a girl and a gun. A very late goodbye to a dead romance.
Godard's kiss-off to making "fun" movies is, ironically, one of his most inviting, maybe because Godard's allusions are so very American. This fluff is Godard trying to reconcile our country's best absurdities (his favorite B-movies) with our worst, finally segueing his obsession completely from genre to politics. Anna Karina, even though she's watching as tears go by, still makes a wonderfully plucky detective.
Less coherent and refined than Two or Three..., but still a great examination of '' La société du spectacle '' and his process of communication through the cinematographer. (There's a very instructive video essay by Richard Brody and Colin Maccabe in the Criterion boxset which made me want to give a 5 stars to the film)
Another great Godard film from the 1960's! Karina is magnetic as always, cinematography is colorful and pointed, and Godard's mélange of high- and low-brow references round out a solid cinematic statement, and part of his transition into the purely political and detrimentally didactic. Still, this one maintains a lightness and effervescence - that je ne said quoi that makes Godard's work so special.