• Breathless

    Breathless

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Lasting Image: Jean Seberg walking down a Paris street with a Herald Tribune t-shirt and a pixie cut. Gorgeous, breezy, beatnicky.


    Plot: Charming Criminal JP Belmondo on the run for killing a cop hooks up with Corn Fed Iowa Beat girl Seberg and they hang out, talking about sex, doing it, and explore Paris. He's shot in the end.


    Roses:
    MUSIC: Miles Davis deserves to be rich for what this film did for Cool Jazz. It has two key leitmotivs--his…

  • A Story of Water

    A Story of Water

    ★½

    Lasting Image: Girl standing up in a boat wearing mens' rubber boots in a flood. BW

    Plot: Girl sets out to paddle to Paris in a flood. Meets up with boy who has a car, and we follow them as they wander. Since Godard is narrating, he PontifiGodards on various subjects which have nothing to do with the action of the film. It ends.

  • Les Mistons

    Les Mistons

    ★★★

    Lasting Image: French Gil in Goody hat really kissing boy. Godard's kisses looked stagey, but this girl's really kissing him

    Or her Bernadette in Black last shot just walking along in a park. She looks more grown up, more beatnik, more Parisian.


    Plot in a Sentence:
    Gang of boys spy on lovely Bernadette and set out to break up her love entanglement with a local boy who dies in the war. At the end, she's growing up and they still…

  • Film Socialisme

    Film Socialisme

    Oh, Godard. Blech. I understand that you now get to edit films on your laptop like the rest of us, and that you've found how to re-color them easily. But this film is a wasted of my time.


    Roses:

    Fresh new cinematic experiments

    As an essay about colonialism and consumer culture, it kinda works

    There are clearly ideas here, but none stick with me long enough to
    actually consider them.



    Thorns:

    The Brechtian Diversions--sound cutouts and such--are silly and
    amateurish…

  • The Story of a Cheat

    The Story of a Cheat

    ★★★½

    The cleverness and whimsy of a con man pulling capers from childhood and showing his tricks to us is irresistible: The memoire structure of him narrating it for us works to do two things for the film maker: allows him to shoot with no sound--which frees him up--and gives it a strong narrative sweep.


    The physical work of the film was ingenious! Seeing his card tricks and the girl drilling holes in the hotel wall was clever.

    I can't see…

  • Contempt

    Contempt

    ★★★

    Garish and grand, I wanted to hate this film, but I was surprised at how emotionally powerful it was.


    Roses:

    Cinematography! Huge grand vistas in Capri, big CineCita settings

    The music. Godard seems to love finding one musical theme and playing it over and over--like how Hitch did in Vertigo, so that it gains emotional power over time. It works here, though I often wondered if it's a gimmick to just push the "Cry Music" button--like adding a laugh track.

    Bardot is gorgeous and sexy

    Palance is such a creep, my remote was in danger of being thrown at the TV.

    The male is forgettable.

  • Made in USA

    Made in USA

    ★½

    Godard's always best when he has Anna Karina. But now it feels tired and outta breath. It's gorgeously colorful. But I'd prefer a coffee table book than watch this...

    So much of it is just last closeups on Anna--whose face now seems to have more lines and hair looks like a stiff wig, that her suppleness and easy touch seem gone.

  • The Married Woman

    The Married Woman

    ★★

    This one makes my BLECH List.

    Godard's at his best with Anna Karina, and it shows here that she's not in it. JLG's lack of plot and pontification labor this film.

  • Band of Outsiders

    Band of Outsiders

    ★★★★★

    This might be Godard's best film: It has all things best about a Godard Film:

    Roses:
    The PLOT: It's a caper film! It's a Love Triangle!
    It's both!

    Anna Karina just blossoming!

    Fresh settings in Paris

    And unlike many Godard films, he's clearly working to get clever
    physical gags into it--like the trio in the diner, moving around the table

    -the Madison dance---which will never get old

  • A Woman Is a Woman

    A Woman Is a Woman

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Oregon Quarantine French New Wave Festival:

    Godard is clearly an intelligent and talented craftsman at film. But when he nabbed Anna Karina, he hit the jackpot! Like a playfully sexy sad-eyed babe, she was exactly what he needed: a girl beautiful and charming enough to carry a whole film--or nine. Which she did.


    In this one we can see her take wing and explore many more of her talents in cabaret singing, physical work and witty comedy. I would watch…