Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Woman is A Woman

This color film from 1961 showcases Anna Karina (Godard's then wife) as a striptease girl. She is living with her boyfriend, and suddenly wants to get pregnant very badly. Her boyfriend wants to wait, so in her frustration she calls for her boyfriend's friend to come up because she wants to ask him to get her pregnant. She is shown to be playful and dreamy in this film, but also somewhat irrational and childish. Music is very important to this film and Godard plays with sound in different ways throughout it. For example, in the opening sequence it shows Angela walking down the street while music plays, but at certain points the music cuts out and then resumes again in a jarring way. There are also many instances in the film where the actors address the camera and make the audience aware that they are watching a film. At one point Angela and Emile even face the camera and bow to the audience. It is with these devices that Godard was challenging the tradition of cinema up to that point and experimenting further.
With its vibrant color and music, this film is often said to be Godard's take on/tribute to musicals of the past that he loved. The melodramatic storyline adds to the feeling of it being a musical as well.
The film addresses issues of love and male/female relationships and perceptions. Both sexes seem to hate one another at times while they are arguing, and then turn on a dime to tenderness. It is this kind of push and pull that adds some realism to the film and explores questions of what it means to be in love and what it takes to stay in love. Some of the most humorous scenes were when the couple is going to bed and they keep grabbing books and making insults out of the titles at each other. This clever kind of situation is effective because it seems like it could happen in real life, but also fits in with the quirky feeling of a musical.

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