It was so great watching this again. When I said that Boy Meets Girl reminded me of Godard, I didn’t realize that the party scene in it was such a straight tribute to the party scene from this movie! Oh, this party scene is even more amazing than I remembered it. I loved the ad copy style dialogues and the way the camera moves from room to room showing us these guests as seen through the eyes of crazy Pierrot.
Watching it, I couldn’t help wondering if it perhaps makes even more sense for Adam and Matty to be showing this film as an intro to the 70s New Hollywood Class. It seems like this film wears it’s Hollywood influence even more overtly (the conversations are all about guns!, cars!, gangsters! and Jean Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina pretty much talk in Hollywood cliches; when they are trying to rob a gas station, Anna Karina uses a gag from a Laurel and Hardy sketch to outwit the attendant; Samuel Fuller is in the party and talks about films about emotion) as well as the reverse.
I love the energy and style that this film exudes. This time I noticed even more clearly the thing that sdedalus mentioned in response to my Vivre Sa Vie review. Yeah, sure, this is less obviously fragmented or episodic as compared to Vivre Sa Vie but like sdedalus said, it definitely switches gears pretty majorly at several points in the story. The narrative is not really straightforward here either. It cuts from monologues to song sequences to comedic routines to shoot-outs and so on. The film also shifts visually from what is actually happening in the movie to paintings, comic strips or whatever Ferdinant is writing down in his notebook. If I remember correctly, sometimes even the sound/music stops abruptly. Also, this film pretty much fits the “playfully depressing” tag too.
It’s really witty and comedic in parts but also deeply cruel and violent at times. There are segments where Pierrot/Ferdinand just speaks to the camera and the monologue feels like Godard’s ideas being presented to us directly without an attempt at necessarily tying it into the narrative. Some of that stuff didn’t necessarily work very well for me.
But that stuff ended up being secondary to the experience this time around as well, as it was the first time. Jean Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina are just so interesting to watch. Every shot is so interesting to the eye that I think I must have saved at least a 100 screenshots from this one.
I think my favorite part of this movie is just the relationship between Ferdinand and Marianne. They do things together and yet I constantly got this sense that there was a gap between them that simply could not be bridged. Sometimes I felt as though she would never remember to call him Ferdinand and he would never pay attention to her as she sang to herself on the seashore.
I watched a bunch of Godard and Truffaut films together a little over a year ago and at the time, I thought I liked Truffaut so much more because I thought that although Godard was perhaps more stylish, Truffaut had more heart. I think I still have more Truffaut films ranking amongst my all-time favorites but this time around, I get the sense that I was wrong about Godard in some ways. He does have heart and a romantic sensibility. I feel as if these films are in some sense even more romantic and more tragic than I had realized earlier.
I don’t know. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I loved this even more this time around.