Masculine Feminine

1966, Movie, NR, 103 mins


Jean-Luc Godard visited the world of young folk to create his most humane film. This is Godard's fifteen-point inquiry into the generation he refers to as the "children of Marx and Coca-Cola," the 1960s youth culture. Paul (Jean-Pierre Leaud), a confused young romantic in search of perfect love, meets pop singer Madeleine (Chantal Goya) in a cafe and eventually moves in with her. Paul copes with his changing views by taking a job for a market research firm, gathering data, and interviewing people (including a young woman voted "Miss Nineteen"). While Madeleine pursues her career, Paul tries to coexist with her and her two roommates, Elisabeth and Catherine (Marlene Jobert and Catherine-Isabelle Duport). Leaud's character--practically an extension of the Antoine Doinel character he played for Francois Truffaut (he even adopts the name Doinel at one point in the film)--wants to live for love, but the ideal becomes problematic in a detached and increasingly consumer-oriented society.

With MASCULINE FEMININE, Godard began a string of increasingly political pictures, leading eventually to his self-imposed exile from commercial cinema. His interest in the synthesis of fiction and documentary is already in full evidence here, with long static shots of people being interviewed included as a means of bringing to the screen an everyday chronicle of Parisian youth in the winter of 1965. (Contrary to the director's intentions, the picture was banned in France for those under 18.) Charming, innovative, provocative, and prophetic, MASCULINE FEMININE is a Godard film that even appeals to people who think they don't like Godard films. One of Godard's masterpieces. leave a comment

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Masculine Feminine
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