It has come. This is the first film of Godard’s that I do not like. Although I had problems with The Carabineers, I could still see the worth of the film. However this film, I find slightly boring and mostly frustrating.
The film follows a young married woman who has an affair with an actor. She gets pregnant and has to decide to stay with her husband or go off with her actor. The main character is obviously very superficial (At one point she measures her breasts to see if they are perfect. They are.) and I don’t see the appeal of this woman who acts like a teenager to these men. Maybe this is comment on the woman question at this time. I can only speak as to what was happening in America at this time, but women were getting married at younger and younger ages, expected to stay home and tend to children and household problems while the men went out to earn the bread. Most women grew up with their mother not working a job and were expected to do the same. This practice produced emotionally stunted women who would act like children in order to get their way with their fathers, brothers, boyfriends and later husbands. This is probably why the character is so annoying to me. She does not handle her problem in any way that would be described smart and yet she is eloquent about her love for the present. She can be articulate, but instead she chooses to take her fists and pound them against her forehead.
The men treat her like she is in fact a child. Both relationships thrive on dominating and degrading her in subtle ways. The actor says pretty early about how messy she is. However it does not matter, because they are in a hotel room. The husband bars her from listening to records that he brought back.
She is always naked, but the husband or actor boyfriend is never naked. Something that I found interesting in films throughout Godard’s films is the naked woman is always beautiful but never outstanding. He makes sure to highlight arms, legs, necks and eyes of women instead of their breasts, butts or bushes.
One thing that I did find interesting about the film is Godard’s mix of interviews into the narrative. Several times the story comes to a stop and titles are put up on the screen entitled things like knowledge, memory, and childhood. Then you get an interview with the character discussing the topic. This provides a window into the character’s psyche and gives more depth to tertiary characters.
Although I do not recommend watching the film unless you are a diehard Godard film addict, I did learn something from it and got something out of it. That is of course always nice.