2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967) Poster

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Keeping up with the Jones'....one trick at a time.
MartinHafer19 January 2019
The films of Jean-Luc Godard are unique. Many critics adore them but most of his movies are very non-cinematic and would simply bore the average person. Because of this, the folks who watch his films in the first place is a very small, select group. While the average cinephile might watch his most famous film, "Breathless", his later films are so strange and unusual that few venture beyond this early New Wave movie. I've tried quite a few times and must say that I just don't enjoy most of his movies. Why? Because of two main reasons....he deliberately makes films that violate what it is to be a movie and his films are so often attacks on Capitalism and the West. After a while, there is a definite sameness to all this.

In "2 ou 3 Choses Que Je Said D'Elle", Godard uses a strange style of filmmaking once again and the entire film is supposed to be an attack on Capitalism, though I think it's really more about Consumerism...the need to have more and more in order to 'keep up with your neighbors'. The subject of the film wants to have nice clothes, a nice apartment and more and in order to do so she turns tricks during the day when her husband is at work.

The story is told in a strange manner--typical of Godard. First, much of the film is narrated by a narrator (Godard?) and the prostitute. Oddly, the dialog is all whispered....and often nonsensical. Second, interspersed throughout the entire film are jabs at the Vietnam War....but often they are thrown in randomly...in weird edits which look choppy and amateurish. And that brings me to my biggest complaint about this film and most of Godard's. I am not offended by his politics, I am offended by his deliberate efforts to make films that look cheap, amateurish and cannot be enjoyed. His characters are often totally bored (especially in this film) and instead of just saying what he thinks, the films are filled with nonsense which artsy folks love...and which leave most viewers either confused or feeling as if they are experiencing "The Emperor's New Clothes"---with women wearing flight bags on their head in one scene and the like.
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essay on the modern American world infecting France
SnoopyStyle12 March 2016
Juliette Jeanson (Marina Vlady) is seemingly a regular mother and housewife but she also prostitutes herself in the modern Paris being constructed. Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard presents a faux documentary and an essay on modern life. He spins snippets of stories of Juliette as well as other women injecting American imperialism, Vietnam War and commercialism. This is not really a story. It is a different kind of movie. It is an essay. It is a jumble. It leaves the viewers with a feeling and a sense of a time and place. Godard is getting tired of the modern world being taken over by American commercialism and this is his thesis.
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boblipton6 February 2019
Ostensibly a movie about a middle-class woman who supplements her husband's earning by turning tricks, this film by Jean-Luc Godard seems to be an existentialist tract about loneliness, with Godard himself constantly whispering his thoughts about the subject.

I'm not a fan of the New Wave -- Truffaut, Demy, Malle and Rohmer occasionally excepted -- but this soon reveals itself as an exercise in the failings of modern society and the people within it. Everyone is disconnected from other human beings, everyone feels hopeless and is just going through the motions and no one tries to view anything as a more than a collection of unrelated attributes. It is possible, of course, that Godard has produced a satire of current French philosophy, with everyone well-dressed in the latest fashions, smoking American cigarettes and drinking Coca-Cola, and Raoul Levy showing up as "John Bogus, the American", wearing a t-shirt with an American flag and claiming to be a photo-journalist.

I do have an urge to smack every cast member, and that is why I think it may be a satire about hyper-intellectuals who are so wise they are miserable, so assured in their beliefs that they believe nothing, so brave in their solitude that they refuse to trust anyone.

But I think not.
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French Class Struggle in the 1960s
gavin69422 February 2016
In this film, 'Her' refers to both Paris, the character of Juliette Janson and the actress playing her, Marina Vlady. The film is a kind of dramatized documentary, illustrating and exaggerating the emotionless lives of characters in the new Paris of the 60s, where commercialism mocks families getting by on small incomes, where prostitution is a money-spinning option, and where people are coldly resigned and immune to the human nightmares of Vietnam, and impending Atomic war.

Around the time of the film's release, Godard explained that he saw advertisers as the pimps who enslave the women to the point where they give their bodies without compunction, because they have been convinced that what they can buy has more potential to bring happiness than does the loving enjoyment of sex. This is a fair assessment, but clearly does not go far enough. Advertising as a whole serves this function for all people, male and female. Many of our consumer desires have no rational explanation.

I must grant Godard the brilliance of the title. In English, "her" is generally a woman and only in rare cases something else (like a ship). He manages to use it in a very ambiguous sense. It is truly unfortunate that this ambiguity cannot be translated completely into English.
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Two or Three Things I Know About Her
jboothmillard12 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard (À Bout De Soufflé (Breathless), Alphaville, Pierrot Le Fou), I wanted to watch this French film purely because it featured in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, I never would have heard of it before reading about it. Basically this film does not tell a story, it is more a study of modern life, with almost everything you can think of put in, according to the director, sports, politics, even groceries, Godard narrates himself in a whispered voice. There is no conventional cinematic narrative, it sees one day in the life of Juliette Jeanson (Marina Vlady), her life is sophisticated but empty, she is a married mother but involves herself in prostitution, and after dropping off her screaming child her day is uneventful with the usual daily routine, shopping, housework and child-rearing, and appointments with clients, seen as banal rather than erotic. Also starring Anny Duperey as Marianne, Roger Montsoret as Robert Jeanson, Jean Narboni as Roger, Christophe Bourseiller as Christophe Jeanson, Marie Bourseiller as Solange Jeanson, Raoul Lévy as John Bogus, the American, Joseph Gehrard as Monsieur Gérard and Juliet Berto as Girl talking to Robert. The performance of Vlady obviously keeps whatever is going on flowing, but in fact the real "her" of the title is Paris, with all the images seen and sounds heard it combines to form a most interesting sociological essay, I agree it is somewhat dated, but is indeed still daring and a mostly splendid experimental drama. Good!
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If you can't afford LSD, try colour TV.
Quinoa198421 November 2006
It's strange to see a work by a filmmaker that is a lesser one, but made during his prime. It's like watching a Godard that speaks to his future films- the much lesser ones- while still holding onto the quality of his work at the time. It came after Masculin/Feminine, a very good work, made during Made in USA (unseen by me) and before Week End, possibly Godard's quintessential attack/satire on culture and film-making. With 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, we get a character who you might think at first is like the Anna Karina character in My Life to Live. She seems to sell herself for sex, but also just lives her life the way she wants it to. But it's really sort of three different strands going on concurrently- there's a pretty coherent look at a mother and wife, Juliette (Marina Vlady, often as dead-pan as Godard can get her to be), who sometimes takes cares of her kids, sometimes just goes out to shop and socialize, and sometimes has absolutely passionless sex for money. The second strand almost comes as being like a pseudo-documentary- or a satire on one perhaps- where Godard has his ladies, Juliette and several others throughout, who break the '4th wall' and talk right to the camera about their own state of mind and being and such. The third strand has Godard himself, in a perpetual whispering tone (to get our attention, of course) about the usual socio-political-philosophical-moral-cinematic-why-is-the-sky-blue narration that accompanies many a Godard film.

And all of this, of course, with some of the most breathtaking cinematography I've seen in any of his work- there are close-ups that, as repetitious as they might've been, really did work. Like with the coffee- we see the coffee and the bubbles, and the colors swirling, while the narration keeps on going. There's even a very self-conscious moment where the camera blurs, the narration mentions blurred perspective, then when things come into 'focus' on both ends. In fact, this is not only one of the most self-conscious of all of Godard's work, but one of the most self-conscious films I might have ever seen. Not that this is an immediate negative, and in this framework Godard's intentions, aside from giving a good kick in the nuts to conventions and what the usual even means in typical words and descriptions of 'things' much less with cinema. There's almost a sense of consciousness expansion he's after in this self-consciousness too, which is par for the course for a Godard film. And it's also loaded to the gills with bright primary colors (this was continued into Week End, though with that in much greater, striking effect), and product placements galore; it always gives one a grin to see his great love/hate relationship with items from mass marketing and produce. And, of course, those title cards.

But what ends up lacking from the film for me, and why I would only consider it a good Godard film as opposed to a masterpiece, is that I get a lot more fulfillment watching Godard's work when he just loses all abandon of common plot-sense, and just makes almost an video essay with plenty of semantics, a loose story, and an eye for locations and people and scenery and products and all sorts of things that show him being instinctively good with the camera...BUT, that it's also entertaining. It's not that 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her isn't never quite interesting, but the fulfillment I got out of it was more of being so familiar with his work that I could get a kick out of things I could already expect in the changes of form and moments of contemplative narration, not really out of any emotional connection though to anything with anyone in the film. Juliette, unlike Karina's Nana (who, by the way, as a tongue-in-cheek in-joke appears in a pop-art style photo on a wall in one scene right from that movie), is at least 70% of the time not really a character in the usual sense: if anything she's more of a mouthpiece, a kind of figure for Godard to put forward his ideas of feminist/radical thinking, done in a manner of voice and inflection that is always the same, rarely shifting. Maybe that's part of the point, and by the end we may know more than two or three things- especially about what she's thinking and attitudes on gender and the whys and why nots of just living and existence- but emotions are almost null & void in this world.

In the meantime, as Godard maybe knows he doesn't have enough of a story with her 'real' character, when not talking to the camera, as a wife and mother, he shifts attention at times to random moments with other women, like one who talks to the camera about her banal existence ("I walk, climb, see a movie twice a month, etc"), or with a sort of touchy sexual discussion in a bar. The focus actually is never too grounded for Godard, which is partly what I mean about this film hinting at the descent his films would go to in the 80s and 90s (at least from my point of view). It's not JUST about women, it's almost about everything- drugs, culture, TV, politics, war (Vietnam especially, quite the topical philanthropic satirist he was), automobiles (a funny bit happens with a red car too), literature, morality, and all that and a bag of 60's-era Godard chips. It's worth checking out, I suppose, especially in widescreen, but not as something to see right away if getting into the director's work- I think if I had seen this as my third or fourth Godard film I might've disliked it even more. As apart of a stretch of films, I respect it and am involved, but compared to the others it's not as successful in terms of it really connecting more than it does. B+
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The least successful Godard film I've seen, and I've seen more than a dozen others
zetes11 March 2002
Although it was a critical success when it was released, and it still has strong supporters today, I personally found Two or Three Things I Know About Her a very weak film. It represents a day in the life of a prostitute/housewife, though that itself is difficult to tell. The film is rather amorphous. Maybe that's a word that many would use to describe the whole of Godard's films. But almost all of his other films, with the possible exception of Alphaville and Contempt (both of which I need to see again, having not seen them for a few years), have a little more internal structure and, what is especially missing from Two or Three Things, a pace. Other films of his are also more biting in their satire or drama, depending on what Godard is going for. Two or Three Things is dead in the water. Think of the giddy quickness and insanity of Pierrot le fou or Le Week-End, or the frightening images of Le petit soldat or Vivre sa vie. This film is not worthless, however. I've never seen a Godard film that I would call bad. And it is, like all of his films (I also haven't seen one that any fan should miss), important in his development as a director. You can see Le Week-End about to burst out of the screen. Two or Three Things contains a couple of remarkable scenes, including the coffee scene. Godard narrates in a whisper, philosophizing over his own role in the universe, as creme swirls in a cup of coffee and clusters of bubbles rotate and pop (the camera is so close that you can't see anything but the coffee in the cup). The cinematography in general, by Godard's frequent collaborator Raoul Coutard, is quite good. I especially like the shots of construction equipment, cranes and such. They're kind of like the opposite of Yasujiro Ozu's pillow shots. 6/10.
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Trying to extract a meaning from here is like cheating on a test
StevePulaski6 March 2014
Watching a French film - or more specifically, a film by Jean-Luc Godard - is like having bad sex; the event in itself can be annoying, uncomfortable, and somewhat restless, but at the end of it, you're good for another. That's how it has felt perusing the French New Wave works of the aforementioned radical and acclaimed director, a man who is often regarded as one of cinema's most profound and original directors. Godard rose to fame in the 1960's during the worldwide student movement, where students from all over the world began rebelling from modern conventions - listening to louder, more boisterous music, taking part in more raucous activities, using illegal substances, and showing no respect or care for higher authority.

French's student movement turned into something of a cinema movement. To a small group of devoted young cinephiles, French film seemed like a cheap art - one capable of so much more but settled for so very little. Nobody seemed to want to experiment or toy with the medium in anyway. That is until Godard hit the scene, boasting a more assured and confident enigma and housing extremely radical and challenging themes and stylistic choices few had seen before.

I equate Godard's films to bad sex because it isn't until after watching them and reading a few thoughts by a miscellaneous bunch online do I realize if I liked them or not. His films are challenging because while watching them, you're sometimes lost in what they're trying to convey. But once you find an idea or some aesthetic attributes to latch on to, dissecting the film is a much easier process. In that respect, Godard's films may also be like an algebra test.

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, however, is sex I never got around to fully enjoying and an algebra test I was never able to pass in the long-run. The film is nowhere near as indescribable or as impossibly vague and empty as Godard's latest work Film Socialisme, but its ability to baffle even fifty years late still holds true. This is a cinematic enigma like few others with sequences ranging from digestible and accessible to a complete mystery on my behalf.

What little coherent narrative there is focuses on Juliette Jeanson (Marina Vlady), a married bourgeois mother who begins her descent into prostitution. She drops her child off at a friend's who runs a business of watching the children of prostitutes before going about her day of shopping, cleaning the house, and meeting new clients. Godard's uniqueness in regard to the story is that he makes all of the sex lack any shred of eroticism and instead makes it rather silly (IE: a man makes a woman wear a shopping bag over her head).

Godard consistently interrupts this narrative with shots of whatever he feels like pointing the camera at with soft-spoken narration added over the images. Godard's narration often doesn't make a lot of sense, but his unpredictable comments and remarks provide the film with or feeling that he is watching this picture with us and giving his own commentary as it progresses.

During the time of 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her's release (1967 to be specific), Godard had become outspoken about his opposition towards Americanization and the ideas of the country as a whole. In the late sixties, prolific advertising began to turn up and, consequently, Godard saw this as an attack and began vocalizing his disdain for advertising. Frequently punctuating this particular picture are stray images of pop art, akin to the style Andy Warhol was famous for.

Of course, the meaning for the inclusions of these images is anyone's guess really. Godard makes his impressionistic style known and present and leaves us to form the thesis out of his work for ourselves it seems. This is one of the issues with this film as a whole. A film should never feel like it is handing you a series of clips and telling you to form an idea out of them without giving you a starting point or an anchor to latch on to. Even in the most impressionistic films by people like Ron Fricke or Gus Van Sant, there is a basic idea or concept that one can attach themselves to in order to try and form some ideas about the film's message.

Godard never seems to give us a starting point with 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her other than a compilation of clips that could very well have a deeper meaning if we knew just where the hell to begin. The pop art/advertising angle is something to go off of, but the film doesn't seem to focus on that nearly enough for it to be the main theme. And with that, even Juliette just seems like a character Godard includes to simply emphasize his appreciation and admiration for prostitutes.

As damning as 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her so often is, the film looks bright, crisp, and extremely clear thanks to the cinematography of Godard's frequent collaborator Raoul Coutard. Coutard gives the film a refined and aesthetically beautiful look, even if what he's showing us doesn't pack in a lot of clarity or real sense. As a film, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her baffles beyond belief and fails at stringing together a coherent and digestible narrative. As an essay on film, it kinda works - if only I didn't have to cheat to figure out what could be an acceptable answer to it.

Starring: Marina Vlady. Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard.
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Cinema Omnivore - 2 or 3 Things I Know about Her (1967) 7.8/10
lasttimeisaw6 October 2021
"Also Godard experiments with more improv to elicit spontaneity and honesty (Juliet Berto has an intriguing cameo as a girl talking with Robert in the bar), Juliette isn't scrutinized like Charlotte, the banality of her life is countervailed by off-the-wall absurdity (such as an American client's bizarre quirk), bright chromatic patterns and the fast-paced rhythm of montage and its whimsical cross-cutting. Vlady has a blank face that betrays nothing, her cheekbone and forehead has a force of their own. Brecht's distancing effect and fourth-wall-breaking impression of (false) eye contact bed in permanently in Godard's idioms."

read my full review on my blog: Cinema Omnivore, thanks.
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gbill-748778 February 2019

  • Anti-Vietnam war messaging, and early lampooning of LBJ's logic to continue bombing.
  • The attempt to be a film of substance, to say something about capitalism and consumerism, and do it in a non-traditional way.
  • The close up shot of the coffee swirling around in a cup, with these narrated lines:

"Since social relations are always ambiguous, since my thoughts divide as much as unite, and my words unite by what they express and isolate by what they omit, since a wide gulf separates my subjective certainty of myself from the objective truth others have of me, since I constantly end up guilty, even though I feel innocent, since every event changes my daily life, since I always fail to communicate, to understand, to love and be loved, and every failure deepens my solitude, since I cannot escape the objectivity crushing me nor the subjectivity expelling me, since I cannot rise to a state of being nor collapse into nothingness - I have to listen, more than ever I have to look around me at the world, my fellow creature, my brother."


  • The 'plot'. It pretty quickly became a real chore to sit through this film. Godard seems to have fallen so in love with pushing the limits of what he could do and being the great artist, that he forgot that things like extended shots of construction work or listening to two people talk about mind-numbingly banal subjects is quite boring. Even his actors look bored. They should be, there is no character development or motivation. A housewife prostitutes herself to supplement the family income. Do we feel anything for her, the way it's presented? Does she? There are pretty women here, but they move robotically through scenes or address the camera directly with trite musings. All of these characters appear to be Godard himself, an intellectual struggling with various things about the modern world.

  • Artistically, the film doesn't work because Godard is overbearing in his whispered narration, which tells us rather than shows us what his points are, and even then only gets them across in haphazard ways. The editing and construction is a mess too. In a few scenes he talks to the audience about the scenes themselves, what he could leave in and what he could leave out, or how he could present it differently. This seems more ego-driven than meaningful, as if being in his head, where thoughts are unedited and sometimes incoherent, should be enough for us. It isn't.

  • The film doesn't work philosophically either. The script is awful and as if Godard wrote parts of it while high the night before. "I know they're my eyes because I see with them. I know they're not my knees or whatever, because I've been told so. Suppose I hadn't been told. How would life be?" the main character asks ... and there are countless other examples of these kinds of "deep thoughts."

To me, it's an experimental film that doesn't stand the test of time. I've heard from some that it's around 1967 that the quality of Godard's work falls off, that he had that burst from 1960 to 1966 but never matured or blossomed as he might have beyond that. Comparing this film to Masculin Féminin from 1966, a film of his I really enjoyed, would certainly support that.
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Frustrating and fascinating
tomgillespie200231 August 2016
Shot back-to-back with Made in U.S.A. (his farewell to ex-wife Anna Karina), 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is one of Jean-Luc Godard most visually arresting, insightful and personal films. Inspired by an article in Le Nouvel Observateur about housewives prostituting themselves in Paris to fund their consumerist lifestyles, Godard uses this as the foundation to explore many other themes throughout the film, tackling everything from philosophy, politics, the ongoing Vietnam War, sexuality and, probably most important of all, France itself (the 'Her' of the title).

There is little plot to the film, and instead Godard uses every film-making technique in his arsenal to take the audience on a journey through the Paris suburbs, having his characters delve into rambling monologues, often responding to questions or regurgitating lines fed through an ear-piece by Godard himself. The main focus is Juliette (Marina Vlady), who occasionally prostitutes herself so she can buy pretty clothes or perhaps just to relieve herself of the boredom of the consumerist lifestyle, while her husband Robert (Roger Monsoret) listens to speeches on the radio regarding America's involvement in Vietnam.

It's with his over-simplified characterisation of Juliette that 2 or 3 Things fails to hit the mark. She is beautiful and intelligent, but seems to only truly love shopping or catching the eye of a handsome man in a cafe. There's little of the free-spirited charisma that Karina embodied in her various roles under Godard, but perhaps that's the point. Themes are often explored with a remarkable lack of subtlety, with the director's obvious opposition to the illegal war in Vietnam cropping up many times throughout the film, with photographs of victims of the war spliced into a rather silly scene involving an 'American' photographer (with a heavy French accent) and his odd fetish with placing bags over ladies heads and having them act out a routine.

Far more impressive are the visuals, with the celebrated shot of a swirling espresso while Godard whispers about his own inadequacy being the most memorable image, and the sheer ambition of a project shot so quickly. Godard is both criticised and adorned for being simply too intellectual and obtuse for film, and 2 or 3 Things is one of the greatest examples of his unwillingness to craft a digestible film for his select audience. The dialogue is often wonderful and poetic, yet sometimes it's rambling nonsense, spoken by characters who have no place in the story, almost as if Godard got bored and moved his camera to a conversation he found more interesting. It's both frustrating and fascinating to see a director of such singular vision, and while there is little of the excitement and energy of his early New Wave work, 2 or 3 Things is an experience like no other.
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Artsy fartsy film that portrays American consumer capitalism as the reason the French people are oppressed
Ed-Shullivan14 January 2019
Take it for what it is worth, a boorish self-indulgent director named Jean-Luc Godard who must have been raised by affluent parents. I guess he never had to work a day in his life. In 1949 he studied at the Sorbonne to prepare for a degree in Ethnology. What the heck is Ethnology you ask? Ask any boorish, filthy rich snob and they will tell you. The definition of Ethnology is: a branch of cultural anthropology dealing chiefly with the comparative and analytical study of cultures. and/or: a science that deals with the division of human beings into races and their origin, distribution, relations, and characteristics.

So the spoiled Godard took liberties within his exploitive documentary style film in which the film star, the beautiful Marina Vlady, plays a dual role of both mother/wife to two young children and a prostitute to maintain a lifestyle to which I assume that Godard knows only too well. Those that have, and those who want. The prostitute/wife/mother named Juliette Jeanson seems to live a very normal life at home, and even her encounters with her Johns who pay for some form of sexual activity seem to be an extension of her (ab)normal way of life.

Throughout the film director Godard takes unfair jab after jab at American populism, American capitalism, and of course the Vietnam war. I am sure the very two different social classes in France and maybe other countries as well, that being the extremely wealthy and the other being the normal working class family would have extremely different views on this film' worth as a cinema experience. I can bet you that this film had a very short shelf life at the theaters when it was released, but it somehow garnered the attention of the liberal film aficionados so it is now forever entitled to be considered part of the acclaimed Criterion Collection.

The point I am making about this type of artsy fartsy film is that after being released more than five (5) decades earlier, 52 years ago to be precise, it has garnered only 5,621 movie goers who have taken the time to rate it's worth. I am by no means in that upper class of social status and I just watched the film free of charge on the TCM network, so you can now count my generous rating of "2" out of 10 as the 5,622nd viewer who has taken the time to rate this film. If I was asked if this film was deserving of being added to the acclaimed Criterion Collection I would say certainly not, as it is more deserving of the 1967 Golden Raspberry Award (Razzie) award. Fortunately for director Jean-Luc Godard the Razzie's were only introduced in 1981. Maybe Godard deserves a lifetime achievement Razzie award.
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Whispering Rage
st-shot17 August 2021
2 or 3 Things I Know about Her is Forever Red Jean Luc Godard in his prime broadsiding Paris society, America and Viet Nam War with dead pan pronouncement.

Her being Paris he punches down at its changing face and the crass population caught up in consumerism that leads some into prostitution. Such is the case of Juliette (Maria Vlady) a housewife and mother living in a high rise. While she moves semi-zombie like through the picture Godard adds to the irritation by whispering narration to a narrative that comes across more as a jumbled collage of discontent.

There's a few nuggets of incite to be mined from the film but Godard's pronouncements and style in retrospect is a draw at best. A heavy handed indictment of the hand that continues to feed him.
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Chris_Docker21 July 2008
Do you go to the movies expecting to exhilaration, emotion? Maybe this film is not for you. Godard once said, "I don't think you should FEEL about a movie. You should feel about a woman. You can't kiss a movie."

The film does have enough spice to tantalise prurient tastes (middle-class part-time hooker). Yet our storyline is no tempestuous avalanche of excitement crashing to a windswept climax. Godard uses it as an attack on fiction itself. In doing so he questions how we fictionalise our very lives. Buying into lifestyles or accepting dominant themes in merchandising and politics. "Pax Americana: jumbo-sized advertising," as a voice-over proclaims.

Performances are excellent. Cinematography has plenty of Godard's hallmark, arresting features. The film integrates a political kick more successfully than many of his attempts. But the real thrill is an intellectual one. 2 or 3 Things I Know about Her appeals to the philosophically inclined. For this viewer, it is a film to watch and re-watch many times, enjoying the test of ideas. A work of great beauty. It also transports Godard to being more than just a filmmaker.

An exemplary demonstration and examination of Brechtian technique, it is more than a purely cinematic use of Bernold Brecht's 'alienation' effect. Godard uses it to make the viewer examine the nature sensory perception and the almost existential convenience of any definition of truth.

Peter Wollen, in his essay 'Godard and Counter Cinema', described how the director was working towards a political rationale for his attack on fiction. Fiction=mystification=bourgeois ideology. But Wollen acknowledges that initially Godard's fascination is more connected with, "the misleading and dissembling nature of appearances, the impossibility of reading an essence from a phenomenal surface, of seeing a soul through and within a body or telling a lie from a truth."

The basis for all this is a story of Paris – it could be the 'her' of the title. Galloping consumerism. Policies determined by economics, not people. Demolition and construction at an alarming pace. While the ordinary decent person cannot keep up. "If you can't afford LSD buy a colour TV."

Our 'ordinary decent person' is an attractive woman on the balcony of high-rise. Our voice-over describes a few things about her. As she turns her head, he describes her again. Same description. Different name. The first time, the real actress (Marina Vlady). Then she is the character, Juliette Janson. "Her hair is dark auburn or light brown," says the voice-over, "I'm not sure."

The voice-over (Godard himself in a conspiratorial whisper) switches back and forth between politics and Juliette's situation, leaving us in no doubt over parallels. The two are then linked diegetically: "The government is disrupting the nation's economy, not to mention its basic moral fibre."

Johnson's futile bombing campaigns in the Vietnam also come under attack. One of Juliette's clients is a war reporter. She does a 'double / all-nighter' with her colleague Marianne which includes parading naked with flight bags over their heads. We are treated to intercut pictures of napalmed victims.

Although it is one of Godard's cleverest and most rounded attacks on capitalism, the film comes into its own as he questions the nature of reality, neatly linked up using gender politics. "What is language, Mummy," asks Juliette's youngster. "Language is the house man lives in," she answers. Examples of male-dominated language pervade the film, from street hoardings to bright signage (both used as intertitles).

Language is not 'objective' and defines how we view things rather than just what they 'are'. Juliette's husband is proud of how clever she is, finding a car at a 'bargain' price. She doesn't reveal to him how she is helping things along.

Juliette is objectivised, both in the story – with our conscious collusion – and by her habit of turning to the camera to address us directly as Vlady, the actress commenting on the character, speaking about her and through her.

Yet Godard attempts to rise above male-orientated perception. "Should I have talked about Juliette or the leaves . . . since it's impossible to do both at once?" Perhaps our use of language extends to our thinking, where it can be equally subverted. "Now I understand the thought process," says Juliette, "It's substituting an effort of the imagination for an examination of real objects." A more precise definition is developing. What is an object? It is something we pass from subject to subject to allow us to live together. Arbitrary agreements, a language, an arbitrary 'reality.'

But it is not all dour. Take love. "True love changes you, false love leaves you as you are." Juliette seems unaffected by her double life as a hooker. She applies garish red lipstick before servicing a client. (But her studied indifference would tend to make her, one must assume, a rather unappealing prostitute in real life.) And as Godard lifts our spirits more with thoughts of leaves and children than of the depredation he has critiqued, we are lifted to savour the divine inspiration of a seeker after truth. "One must always be sensitive to the intoxication of life." He says. Which can be taken both ways. Both the leaves and Juliette, "trembled slightly."

A particularly beautiful sequence is when Juliette says, "You can describe what happens when I do something without necessarily indicating what makes me do it." She sheds a tear. "This is how, 150 frames later . . .."

2 or 3 Things I Know about Her also contains perhaps the most legendary close-up of a cup of coffee ever made. Foamy swirls appear only to disappear again. Visual metaphor appearing and dissolving.
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There can be little doubt that this is unmitigated tripe.
Spleen2 October 2008
Okay, not unmitigated. The shot of the swirling coffee was nice to look at.

It's not fair to judge Godard by this one film, but if one were to do so, one would be forced to conclude that he's a charlatan. A real artist wouldn't have to talk our ears off for two solid hours. He talks at us through his characters, through his whispered narration (that guttural whisper is really hard to take after a couple of minutes); and even his incessant cinematic doodling is a kind of pitilessly boring monologue (he'll suddenly turn the soundtrack off not so much for effect as to goddamned well SAY something about cinematic convention – I don't know what, exactly; the point he's trying to make is surely a banal one, whatever it is).

Godard is so enamoured of language that not only does he use it – blast it at us – relentlessly; he has himself and his cast, when they run out of anything else to talk about, which doesn't take long, start talking about – language. And what twaddle they talk on the subject! "I suppose these are my eyes. How do I know they're my 'eyes' and not my 'knees'? Because people told me. But what if they hadn't?" That's not really the best example of fatuous nonsense; I remembered those lines among all the others because, silly though they are, they at least made sense: they don't reveal a mind so muddied by bad philosophy that it cannot think at all, which is what most of the rest of the script reveals.
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Marxist, or just a bad movie
Karl Self22 February 2013
This is a film collage, or experimental film, about the state of Paris as Godard sees it in 1967. The old, romantic Paris is reshaped, large suburbs of tower blocks are built, which Godard correctly predicted to be soulless and inhuman to some degree. The film loosely follows the life of a young housewife and depicts her consumerist lifestyle, which Godard likens to prostitution. At one point she and her manicurist prostitute themselves to a US-American, who wears a stars-and-stripes-T-shirt and makes the girls wear bags over their head. The narrative is so weak that I had to look it up on the internet. Unfortunately, Godard doesn't limit himself to depicting the state of life in 1967, which could have made a fascinating cinematic time capsule. In a way, he seems to be p*ssed off with the state of things in general. Les banlieues -- bad. Vietnam war -- bad. Bright boxes of soap powder -- bad. Cinematic conventions and storytelling -- bad. It's like watching the rant of a miserable old man. I thought the analogy between capitalism and prostitution was pretty cheap. Prefab tower blocks were going up in the Eastern bloc like mushrooms. What alternative does he have to offer? Is he just hankering for the old days of "gay Paree"? As if prostitution hadn't existed back then. In a way, he's part of the parcel. People in 1967 were moving into high-rise slabs, surrounded themselves with bright plastic, and had to endure soulless movies like this one.

Yet I'm not angry with Godard. He tried new stuff in this movie, and wasn't very successful with it. I'm angry with film critics who make this out to be a cinematic masterpiece merely because it's "political".
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A New Type of Cinema
jayraskin115 August 2009
Godard is a God ard. Some people find his films easy. Some find his films hard, Godard is a cinema Bard

With "Breathless," Godard created new wave cinema in 1960. With this movie, Godard created postmodern cinema.

The amazing thing is how much this film captures a moment in time and space. In fact, in one scene, we are told that it is being filmed on August 17, 1966. We can say that this the date when the Postmodernist world was born.

One has to see it as a transition from Pop Art to Postmodernist art. Part of the film is obsessed with the artistic nature of household products. Part of the film is a meditation on our lack of being and our amazing relationship to language.

Godard's treatment of woman is quaintly pre-feminist. He is treating them as sex objects,yet at one moment he asks a woman to speak about the sex between her legs. The woman rebukes her and tells her its stupid. Another astonishing moment in a film that has many.

The film is non-narrative for the most part. It is Brechtian theater translated into cinema. Godard proves that non-narrative cinema can provide a great deal of pleasure, foreshadowing the future - present cinema.

Godard is a God ard.
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The decline and fall of western civilisation, parts 1 to 4
ThreeSadTigers9 June 2008
The title is a slightly ironic one; implying the importance of Godard as the film's personal narrator and ably illustrating that the "two or three things he knows about her" are referring not only to the film and the central character, but to Paris itself. It's one of the filmmaker's most difficult and disorientating films, existing within the same creative mindset as Week End (1967) and La Chinoise (1967), but failing to meet that particular level of subversive brilliance. Many of Godard's most obvious hallmarks are still in place, from the notion of society as prostitution, the rise of American consumerism, the state of France in the midst of political upheaval, relationships between men and women, the nature of cinema as a platform for discussion, satire, imagination and ideas, and the appropriation of a larger than life visual design taking in elements of pop art, surrealism, Buñuel and Brecht. However, unlike the similarly minded films aforementioned, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967) doesn't quite come together as a consistent and cohesive whole, instead seeming somewhat sluggish and anchored to a character that is neither interesting nor particularly well performed.

That said; I feel people shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the film, as it features several scenes of bold technical invention, a sharp and biting wit and a real sense of both visual and thematic imagination. It is also a fairly worthy time capsule to the spirit and scope of Paris at this particular time, expressing many of the political fears and social concerns central to most free-thinking Parisians circa 1967. Whereas the two other Politically minded films that Godard produced in 1967 would broaden the thematic scope to create a much more pointed attack on armchair terrorists and bourgeois revolutionaries, "2 or 3 Things" works on a much smaller scale; choosing suburban Paris with its high-rise apartment buildings, shops and service stations as a backdrop that is continually dwarfed by the wheels of industry and industrial repair. At one point Godard says in voice over that "the landscape is like a face", all the while showing how it is continually destroyed, changed and re-developed in a series of repetitive visual metaphors open to a variety of thematic interpretations. Many viewers take these sequences at face value and choose to view the film as a simple, heavy-handed essay on the decline of industry and the rise of Capitalism and subsequently write the film off. However, even though the film takes a great deal of work and may indeed seem boring and heavy-handed, there are deeper themes and ideas that make this a slightly more rewarding work in the long run.

Once again, Godard anchors his ideas to the theme of prostitution; recalling elements of Vivre sa Vie (1962) whilst simultaneously foreshadowing certain issues later expressed in Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980). Like the latter film, Godard implies that with an increasing focus on consumerism and the pursuit of material gain, society is prostituting itself. This is further elaborated upon by Godard's continual focus on product logos and brand names that are inter cut and often re-framed in order to create humorous puns that are probably lost on anyone not entirely familiar with the French language, as well as a final shot that renders the cityscape of suburban Paris as the ultimate consumer paradise. The idea of prostitution also extends to the main character, who here, prostitutes herself in order to break up the monotony of her everyday life, whilst also featuring as a somewhat controversial comment on acting itself (something that is further implied in the opening scene).

Like many of Godard's films, "2 or 3 Things" uses a great deal of humour to give the satire a more pointed attack. Much of this humour tends to go over the heads of most viewers, largely as a result of having to read the subtitles or simply missing out on much of Godard's clever use of wordplay and usually ironic puns. Scenes, such as the young boy relating his dream about the unification of North and South Vietnam, or the scene in which Juliet and her friend enact a bizarre, tongue-in-cheek sex game with a foreign war correspondent (who films them with a super 8 camera and looks a little like Godard himself), all the while cutting back and forth to shots of construction and cars entering a service station, being an incredibly bold and rebellious critique in itself. Other sections of the film seem more poetic; almost as if Godard is putting his thoughts on film as he goes along and creating something that is, on the one hand, entirely personal, whilst simultaneously being an obvious piece of satirical agitprop. The two strands don't always sit well together, and too often Godard's ideas seem strained and unformed; especially in comparison with those two other films from 1967, previously mentioned.

Obviously many viewers have had problems with the film, and really, your enjoyment of it will depend greatly on how much you trust Godard's instincts as both a satirist and filmmaker, and how willing you are to enter into a dialog with him on a subject that is now resigned to an incredibly brief footnote in 20th century history. For me, the film is undoubtedly one of his more difficult projects and not one that I would place higher than the likes of Le Mepris (1963), Pierrot le fou (1965) or Helas pour moi (1993), etc. However, the scope of Godard's ideas and his way of presenting them visually are close to genius, whilst the occasional moment of imaginative wit, visual poetry or the sheer verve of Godard's film-making abilities make the slow pace and poor performance from Marina Vlady all the more bearable. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is worth seeing in the context of both Week End and La Chinoise and is certainly worth experiencing as a double bill with the similarly themed Sauve qui peut (la vie).
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A movie about everything
MovieGuy10928 May 2012
Jean-Luc Godard has been known for his intellectual observations and criticisms. This film is no exception, it is one of the director's masterpieces, a film of unique intellect and style, a movie in which feels almost like a documentary with many characters narrating their actions, along with Godard who whispers personal opinions and observations into the camera. The film is miraculous in its acute social observation along with its discussion of almost every facet of Paris life given both a realistic context by Godard and his pseudo-documentary approach and a fictional context by the actors, creating for us a sort of double-sided film of both fact and fiction, of satire and drama, and of love and hate. As with almost all Godard films, subjective to those not familiar with his sense of structure, but an essential viewing for the intellect.
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A Fearless Detour Into the Wild Mind of Jean-Luc Godard
blakiepeterson2 May 2015
Jean-Luc Godard is a master of making nonsense turn into something interesting, something of deep meaning. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is full of grand ideas, jumbled up no less, and in return they make a sometimes compelling and sometimes frustrating film. Godard famously once said that the film was supposed to be an homage to The Big Sleep, but instead of a detective, the main character is a prostitute. But if 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is an homage to The Big Sleep, then I must be a zebra. Frankly, no matter what Godard tries to tell us beforehand, this is a challenging film that has moments of great intellect and inspiration.

The "her" in the title refers both to Marina Vlady and the city of Paris itself. Vlady "portrays" Juliette Janson, a bourgeois housewife that doubles as a prostitute in order to pay the bills. "Portrayal" has quote marks around it as Juliette is less of a character and more of a representation: Godard does not intend to tell the story of the complicated woman — he would prefer to study the changing climate of 1960s Paris and its people.

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her marks a huge shift in Godard's career. A staggering fan of American cinema, his earlier projects, such as Pierrot Le Fou and A Woman Is A Woman, were genre films that were stylized as crime thrillers and Technicolor musicals, respectively. But 2 or 3 Things shows Godard more interested in politics and how the increasingly radical ideas of the world were shaping Europe.

There are still very American things that show up in certain scenes: in the opening credits, the font is dressed in red, white, and blue. In the rest of the film, advertisements that surround the characters are designed with art deco boldness. But it's difficult to compare the film to anything the U.S. had to offer in cinemas in 1967.

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her feels like a delve into Godard's brain at the time. The Vietnam War is mentioned frequently, serving not only as a point of critique but also as a pressing matter, always on the mind. Juliette's immoral lifestyle choice is not a plot device, but a reflection of 1967 France: President Charles de Gaulle's bold transformations to the economic system are prevalent. Skyscrapers are gazed upon with an alienated distance, and Juliette's work was an actual choice many women had to make as cost of living began to increase under his rule.

Godard's positions are fascinating, but at times they begin to ramble and become disjointed in their aesthetic. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is at its most exciting when characters are simply having normal conversations. When they deliver fourth-wall breaking monologues, they lose quite a bit of their charisma as they feel as though Godard is talking to himself. Too much Godard can be too much Godard, after all.

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her features more successes than failures; it's a film that doesn't have much emotional relevance but manages to create interest on a philosophical level. Godard had a great '60s, and this is a fitting closing.

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Philospophical Goddard playing with an Idea
jrneptune21 January 2019
This movie is not for everyone. Let us start with that.

Unless you are a in the film industry, philosophy, or linguistics, or psychology this movie might not be for you.

Plenty of great reviews listed here but I had to add my impression of the movie. I only wish I understood the French language better because I am sure there are gems in many of the scenes that subtitles did not explain.

A treat for the eyes and mind.
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A newspaper report that Parisian housewives were prostituting themselves for nice things led Godard to a bold attack on consumerism
crculver4 October 2015
As the 1960s went on, Jean-Luc Godard was increasingly alarmed by the rise of consumerism in France. He first confronted this issue with his 1964 film UNE FEMME MARIEE where the characters mindlessly repeated advertising slogans in their dialogue and the eponymous protagonist, keen on women's magazines and the latest fashion, was completely unaware of Auschwitz or other tragedies. A couple of years later, Godard read a magazine article about a housewife in one of the big new highrises outside Paris who, while her husband was at work, prostituted herself to afford all the nice things that he couldn't buy her. This led him to take up the housewife theme again, but the resulting film, 2 OU 3 CHOSES QUE JE SAIS D'ELLE (Two or Three Things I Know About Her) is a considerable departure from past work and marks Godard's adoption of a more overtly political cinema.

Marina Vlady, not even 28 years old then but already seen as a venerable old actress, plays Juliette Jeanson. Married to Robert (Roger Montsoret), an auto mechanic, she begins her day by seeing him off to work, her young son off to school, and then dropping her infant daughter off at a day care. The film tracks her visiting boutiques and the hairdresser, with her means of affording all this only alluded to at first. Godard gradually reveals the element of prostitution in all this, suggesting that many of the young women Juliette encounters over the course of a day are doing the same. The only encounters with johns are depicted in a banal fashion, everyone involved clearly bored. These scenes of housewife life are separated by shots of construction workers across Paris erecting a new and considerably more impersonal city.

In 2 OU 3 CHOSES, Godard heavily uses a technique that he had experimented with in his earlier two films: a headphone is worn by a female actress (whose voluminous hairdo hides it from the camera), and then Godard would ask her questions or have her repeat to the camera lines that he fed her without prior preparation. Thus much of the film consists of the protagonist or other characters delivering what seem to be disjointed monologues. The technique tends to dehumanize the characters, just as Godard feels that consumerism makes everyone a zombie. But it also makes them blatant mouthpieces for Godard's own thoughts, which can start to feel rather tiresome. (If you've wondered where the dividing line is between "New Wave" Godard and "political" Godard falls, it's here.) Indeed, Godard goes heavily didactic here. Over much of the film he gives a voice-over in a barely-intelligible whisper, presenting his own fears and hopes. Over one of the film's most famous shots, the swirls in a hot cup of coffee, Godard even says something which doesn't even seem to be related to the film at all, but which involved his disappointment at being jilted by Vlady romantically at this time. But in his voiceovers and in the dialogue of his characters, Godard also takes on the war then raging in Vietnam to such a degree that the original housewife prostitution plot is pushed aside (or at least made only a tiny part of a vast geo-social-cultural-political point the director is making), and Godard's disappointment with the United States is presented in a bitter fashion.

Thus 2 OU 3 CHOSES is, in my opinion, a not completely successful experiment, where Godard wanted to include the whole world but was unable to make the elements cohere. Still, it is worth watching for cinephiles. While, as I said, Godard had dealt with the "housewife and consumerism" theme in an earlier film, this is much more effective due to its use of color. After all, commercial brands were deft users of color to attract the eye of shoppers, and a mere black-and-white shoot would miss out on this explosion of hues. (At one point Godard says in voice-over, "If you can't afford LSD, buy a colour television.") The final voice-over and camera shot is particularly majestic in this regard. Elsewhere in the film, as we move through blocks of flats, shops, or city streets, Raoul Coutard's cinematography is mindblowing, with long takes of powerful impact.
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A very wonderful piece of visual expression
Balthazar-521 April 2008
Godard made '2 ou 3 Choses...' more or less at the peak of his creativity. It was also made 'at the same time' as 'Made in USA'. The latter film is, for me, the beginning of the end of Godard as a major contributor to cinema, This, on the other hand, seems to be quite wonderful.

Godard had always been interested in 'prostitution', literally and metaphorically. Here he monumentalises his theme. Juliette Jeanson is a fabulous intensely feminine creation, magnificently played by Marina Vlady. Augmenting her housekeeping money by prostitution as a rather more down-market version of 'Belle de Jour', she muses about her life and its meaning.

This is a film in which it is not the 'plot' or the 'narrative' or even the dialogue that conveys meaning, it is the counterpoint between the images, the dialogue and the situation. This is massively enhanced by the director's use of his own voice as a kind of commentary. 'Shall I speak of Juliette or the leaves on the trees...' etc.

In a way, the film is also an essay on subjectivity and the way that people are treated as objects in certain aspects of capitalism. I hasten to add that I do not swallow Godard's uncritical Marxism, but there is quite enough in this film to make you think long and hard about modern society - today just as much as when it was made.

But the great thing about the film is that it is not just an intellectual exercise, less a piece of unthinking propaganda. It is a film with a heart and Juliette is one of the most lovable female characters in 60s French cinema.

The downside for the here and now is that, of all of the serious films of its era, this is arguably the one that least fits on a television. The Techniscope seems to be the widest image that the cinema allows and trim anything from the edges of Godard's images at your peril. So the trick is to see it in a cinema!
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Cherche La Femme
spelvini6 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Director Jean-Luc Godard came from the old school of filmmaking, the way Andrew Sarris approached looking at a film, watching a movie and understanding it as if it was a novel or some literary product- you could start at the beginning, and follow a line of thought through to the end. Breathless may have been his biggest hit, because it was his most easily accessible film, referencing Film Noir and Bogart all the way through to tap into the American love of thriller.

Living in a constantly renovating Paris, Juliette Janson (Marina Vlady) lives with her husband struggling daily with making more money and keeping pace with the ever-expanding consumerism of the urban environment. Juliette has taken to prostitution to make more money for the household and in an afternoon meeting she and a friend supply pleasure for an American gentleman. The act has a depleting effect on her but she accepts it in order to keep up with the growing economic pressures of marriage and family.

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her feels like a far more mature work as the director uses a variety of techniques to get his point across. In one scene where Juliette and a friend entertain the fetishistic attentions of a "John" in and afternoon tryst while wearing airline carrying bags over their heads is, even by today's standards, super-kinky and LMAO-funny as well. This is definitely not one of those easily accessible movies that consist of a comic book mentality, but one that trusts its audience to be interested and stick with it until the last brittle image of a variety of consumer products laid out across a green suburban lawn.

Writer Catherine Vimenet, and Jean-Luc Godard make the most of a sound track that has the director practically whispering conspiratorially to an audience as he tells the tale of the main character. It's a mammoth project, and very sophisticated, but Godard doesn't spoon-feed any of us. He's got something to say, and to make sure you listen he whispers it with urgency on a soundtrack that alternately explodes with the sounds of construction in the city of light.

Far from being out of the ordinary, this particular style of filmmaking is something Goddard seems to prefer over the structured narrative forms of some other "New Wave" filmmakers. The narrative includes a distancing effect on the viewer so that no mistake can be made between story teller and intended listener. One particular stand-out section includes an extreme close up of sugar being stirred into a cup of coffee as Goddard's narration reflects on the sound track about how meaning in our lives is achieved through perception- a typical Goddard viewpoint that her was in its incipient stages.

If 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her leaves you cold, it may be due to your own perception of what cinema is and how film narrative functions to involve the viewer. Goddard is still a filmmaker at heart, and his use of cinematographer Raoul Coutard to create an alluring visual palette for the viewer is impressive to say the least. Coutard is known for his work on a handful of characteristically "New Wave" films, Breathless in 1960, Jules and Jim in 1962, Z in 1969, and Pierrot le Fou in 1965. The imagery he creates here serves the film well, and may have you coming back for more.
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Histoire d'eau - Godard and the ultimate cinema of flux.
philipdavies21 November 2003
Stagily whispered narration, more like idle gossip than full-blown conspiracy.

Non-sequiturial loose-ends of non-communication between the characters, and conversations between the actors and the director which we are not allowed to follow.

Uncommunicative and unengaged philosophico-political maunderings of citizens who are floundering conceptually in a system that cannot sustain them, either morally or intellectually.

A view of Parisian building-sites as a social upheaval which yet represents the antithesis of any structural or constructivist manifestation of social progress.

A film that is, like the capitalist society that has the eye of the camera hypnotised, a profoundly blank and alienating surface, whose technique is only occasionally relieved by gratuitous scenes of meaning:

E.g. -

A woman trapped in a sink estate and yearning to be free, who is compelled by the desparation of her dream to entrap and enslave herself even further through prostitution;

The intrusion of a pimp-like meter-reader into the pure nakedness of private space;

A creche in a brothel;

A secular catechesis - The simple, non-sexual, non-manipulative dialectic of honest exploration that makes us human;

The still-birth of revolutionary thought as the spiral galaxy in a coffee-cup ...

All-in-all, the representation of a society which is profoundly inhospitable to the human beings who should constitute it, and which consequently does not permit the realisation of any aspect of humanity.

All we get are fugitive glimpses of life in the process of moral and intellectual decay. Thought and character remains unrealised, and the film is therefore also inchoate as the necessary reflection of this social unreality.

Here is a wan world, haemmoraging meaning as we watch. Here before us are the helpless ghosts of an industrial medium. They dance fitfully in the unchanging wind, the fantastic commercial simulacra in which we bind our free nature.

Strips of film, strung out like human fly-paper, where fluttering images stick only as they die. In place of creative pressure, an air of ennui, of carelessness: A drop-out film - a film of drop-outs, plot-holes in the threadbare social fabric, - neglectful of all appearances. The face of the film gazes basilisk-like out upon the viewer, resentful of our settled habits of non-involvement. Two frozen gazes cancel, the mutual incomprehension only verging on hostile irritation. No reaction. No drama. The light dies.

The hypnotic mirror of reproach whose conscience we yearn to assuage, that traps our humanity in the voyeur's dream, as it is projected back upon us in the Gorgon's gaze.

Desire is petrified - one's petty film-going expectations of this penetration of dark places disappointed. One escapes from the deathly spell of cinema into the real world.

Godard's lesson is that there is nothing meaningful in this cave of artificial shadows, and that he will bitterly wean us from our facile consumerist dreams, that we may the better engage with the harsh political realities of life.

The radically disillusioned auteur deconstructs himself. Le derniere vague flops exhausted on that endless strip where empty sprocket-holes run on aimlessly towards a dying sun.

The mechanism of dreams runs down.

We are not automata - we are made up by life. To live is the story we enact, without intermediary, and unmediated. The immediate and the authentic are alien to art. Art is a whispering empty shell left high and dry. Life is not the element of dead things: Do not listen to the shallow siren voice of le faux vague! Plunge back into humanity's proper medium.

Thus does a revolution in seeing strip out the gelatinous scales of our burned-out eyes, and there is no more interference with the wavelengths of light being broadcast from the nearest star.

Thus do the sighing bones of life articulate the bounds of existence.

We are the tides that wax and wane - the ocean that overwhelms itself, drowning its own waves in one flood of being.

Godard's film and films are under the influence of this larger movement. With his work, we are cast adrift from all anchors and familiar landmarks. We are 'all at sea'. There is a transition - a movement that is perhaps nearer to momentum than inertia - from whence we cannot recall to whither we cannot see. His is the ultimate cinema of flux.
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