Friday, January 2, 2009
A new print of Jean-Luc Godard’s MASCULINE FEMININE screens three times this week at the Charles:
Saturday, January 3rd at Noon.
Monday,January 5th at 7 PM.
Thursday, January 8th at 9 PM.
(1966 Jean-Luc Godard) Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert, Michel Debord. In French with English subtitles. 110m. bw.
Masculine Feminine is that rare movie achievement: a work of grace and beauty in a contemporary setting. Using neither crime nor the romance of crime but a simple romance for a kind of interwoven story line, Godard has, at last, created the form he needed... essay, journalistic sketches, portraiture, love lyric and satire.
The boy, a pop revolutionary (Jean-Pierre Léaud), is full of doubts and questions. The girl (Chantal Goya) is a (French pop music) singer with a thin, reedy little voice; her face is haunting just because it's so empty — she seems alive only when she's looking in the mirror toying with her hair.
Godard asks questions of youth and sketches a portrait in a series of question-answer episodes that are the dramatic substance of the movie... There are informal boy-to-boy conversations about women and politics; there is a phenomenal six-minute single-take parody-interview with a “Miss Nineteen,” who might be talking while posing for the cover of Glamour; and there are two boy-girl sessions which define the contemporary meaning of masculine and feminine.... Godard captures the awkwardnesses that reveal the pauses, the pretensions, the mannerisms – the rhythms of the dance – as no one has before... He gets the little things that people who have to follow scripts can’t get: the differences in the way girls are with each other and with boys, and boys with each other and with girls. Not just what they do, but how they smile and look away. There’s life in Masculine Feminine, which shows the most dazzlingly inventive and audacious artist in movies today at a new peak. (Pauline Kael The New Republic 1966)
“A masterpiece! Who wouldn’t want to live in the supercool, girl-pop world of Godard’s freshest comedy? Nobody makes films like MASCULINE FEMININE anymore.”
– Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York