Arguably the greatest film made by arguably the most important world director to emerge since WWII. Not recognized as one of Godard's foremost achievements at the time, TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER now seems the richest of his films, made at the perfect halfway moment between his
playful iconoclasm and his later political anger. What little "plot" there is concerns a housewife (Vlady) who works part-time on the sly as a prostitute. What Godard and crew milk from this topic is extraordinary: a sociologically oriented dissection of modern middle-class life as an act of
The film's title alone suggests the richness of what unfolds--"her" is at once our heroine Juliette, actress Vlady, Paris, consumerism, politics, structuralism, and about a dozen other things. The use of disjunctive editing, saturated color schemes, endless quotation (from Marx to Wittgenstein),
and deadpan performance style make this film deliberately "difficult" to engage. Godard is challenging us, asking us to consider how we watch films and how we live our lives. Unforgettable moments are numerous: the opening introductions of Vlady as Vlady, then Vlady as Juliette; the little boy
recounting his dream of Vietnam while his mother lies covered in the red, white, and blue of her nightgown and bedding; the babysitter, paid with canned goods, attempting to comfort a squalling child while lovers tryst in adjoining rooms; two naked women wearing airline tote bags on their heads.
Perhaps greatest of all is the satiric final shot of a Paris neighborhood constructed from grocery goods, and the amazing close-up wherein a cup of coffee becomes the cosmos. (As we stare in awe, the whispering voice-over of Godard himself considers the philosophical terrain underpinning
contemporary French intellectual thought.) Shot at the same time as MADE IN U.S.A. (Godard filmed one in the mornings, the other in the afternoons), TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER is a uniquely rewarding film that requires many viewings--a brilliant, powerful and overtly political film
that's still relevant today.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Arguably the greatest film made by arguably the most important world director to emerge since WWII. Not recognized as one of Godard's foremost achievements at the time, TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER now seems the richest of his films, made at the pe… (more)