Sunday, June 13, 2010

#160 2 Ou 3 Choses Que Je Sais D'elle (1967)


Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Cast: Joseph Gehrard, Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey, Roger Montsoret, Raoul Levy, Jean Narboni

In my opinion, this film is borderline unwatchable. The title translates to "Two or Three Things I Know About Her," 'her' being Paris, not the main protagonist of the film, Juliette Jeanson played by Marina Vlady. Godard uses Juliette as a metaphor for materialism in 1967 Parisian society. Juliette is a wife and mother of a middle-class suburban family, and twice a week, she prostitutes herself for money in hopes of getting beyond her stale life. Godard believed this was very much so a metaphor for the way the people of Paris prostitute themselves for money and possessions. The film is splattered with bits of anti-American sentiment vs. worship/fascination of Hollywood.

The reason, however, I find this film practically intolerable is not the subject matter. The message of this film is unreachable through the format. The film cuts back and forth between scenes of a construction site and scenes of slow-moving Vlady, talking in monotone about her feelings and ending every sentence with "I don't know." You can tell that she has lost something valuable. A personality, a vigor-- something is wrong. But her words might as well have been singing "three little monkeys jumping on a bed." The significance of her speech was so convoluted with flowerly philosophy that it was truly senseless.

I barely made it through this film, even after breaking it into two sittings. I enjoyed Breathless by Godard, so I was very unhappy to hate this film so much. The message isn't important, but as a graduate of a communications degree, I can't help but be turned off by works of art that fail to clearly speak.

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