VERSUS THE SCARECROW EPISODE ELEVEN: A Look At Jean-Luc. I decided to challenge myself and really open the doors of my film knowledge and take on “The Scarecrow Video Movie Guide”. It’s 808 pages of movies and movie reviews from some of the most knowledgeable movie people you don’t know. It’s a book put together by a staff that praises, and destroys, some of our favorites and not so favorites. You can read the rest of my series here.
Just a quick refresher: each episode, I’m going to tackle three films from three different categories. Two films will be films I’ve never seen before and one will be one I’ve seen before or own. For the new films, well, new to me, I’m going to review them like a typical FTS review using the TOAST Rating system. But, for the films I’ve seen, I’m going give a quick paragraph or two about why I like or don’t like the film. We’ll try to include the poster and trailer for each film. “….and here. We. Go!”
This episode we break into French Foreign films by taking a look at one of my favorite directors: Jean-Luc Godard. We look at Weekend, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, and the first Godard film I ever saw, Pierrot Le Fou.
2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Starring: Joseph Gehrard, Marina Vlady and Anny Duperey. IMDB says: ”In this film, ‘Her’ refers to both Paris, the character of Juliette Janson and the actress playing her, Marina Vlady.”
I did not like 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her. It didn’t feel like a Godard film and I had to keep checking IMDB and my Netflix sleeve to remind myself it was indeed him. 2 or 3 Things is about a woman who needs to provide for her family, so she becomes a prostitute. Naturally I thought, okay, this is going to be a character piece. We’re going to watch her struggle and so on and so forth. We don’t get that. Instead we get an idea that was intriguing at first, but then fell apart due to poor execution and an overall feeling of being out of place. Every scene, be it in a restaurant, a store, or in the street, begins with the camera focusing on highway construction. During these shots, a voice is whispering displeasures with the current society and it’s economic woes. Again, it’s a voice that’s whispering over construction. I didn’t understand that choice, but I was very thankful for subtitles. From there, we’d cut to a setting and a camera would focus on several different women, none crucial to the plot, and they would reveal 2 or 3 things about themselves, almost like a documentary. I thought that was pretty neat, but when we kept talking to all these women and kept focusing on the man whispering over construction work, I quickly lost interest in the story.
As the characters broke the fourth wall more and more, the film became more of a bland essay than a film. As much as I enjoy Godard and his unconventional film making style, I suggest skipping this one altogether. Maybe for it’s time, the film was important with what it had to say, but unfortunately, it does not hold up.
Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on Pierrot Le Fou and if you’re interested in more, you can find the rest of the Versus The Scarecrow series here.