Holy City Style

September 6, 2008

HCS Review: Masculin féminin

Filed under: Cinema — carolime @ 6:25 pm
Tags: ,

Nothing says hurricane like champagne, carrots, and French New Wave cinema.

I need to admit something.

I’m not one for movies you have to think about—I like the kind that let you escape into something much more fantastic that your current reality. The kind that end happily with the characters and plot all tied up in a big pretty bow.

Masculin féminin is not my kind of movie.

So perhaps it was last night’s company, or the three bottles of wine, or the threat of a particularly horrendous storm that made me so genuinely enjoy a movie that is so genuinely not my style.

Masculin féminin comes to us from French filmmaker Jean Luc Godard, a champion of New Wave cinema. The plot centers upon Paul—a disillusioned youth fresh out of the French army and filled with ideas of sex and politics. He encounters Madeleine, a strikingly beautiful young woman with whom he hopelessly falls for…sort of.

It’s not so much the basic plot that’s important here; it’s everything around that plot. The film is filled with non-sequiturs too numerous to count, sideways comments on French culture circa the 1960’s, and contrasting cinematic perspectives.

Entire scenes are shot on just one person, giving the audience an alarmingly intimate view of the conversation. While others contain superfluous characters, comments, actions, and open-ended statements begging for the audience’s own interpretation.

Masculin féminin is not the kind of film you can passively watch, it engages and begs the audience to wrap their minds around what appears on the screen. And if you’re up for it, I say give it a go.


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