Monday, November 24, 2008

Jules and Jim

This film was by Francois Truffaut and came out in 1962.

This film starts out and seems to be a tricky love triangle. Both Jules and Jim fall in love with the same woman, Catherine. Catherine loves and marries Jules. Later in life they meet up again and Catherine starts to love Jim. We see that all these people love each other, and yet this love does not seem to affect their friendship. Confusing right...

We see once again the stereotyping of women. Usually we see Goddard as very sexist, but this time we are seeing a woman through Truffaut's eyes and he seems to be very sexist also.

Catherine seems to be very unhappy. After her and Jules have moved to the country with their daughter, she begins to have affairs. Jules tolerates it because he does not think that he can live without her. When Jim comes to visit she begins to have an affair with him.

In my opinion, this may be one of the worst portrayals of a woman in all the films we have so far seen. Catherine is always looking for the grass to be greener, and cant seem to find happiness with just one man. In today's day and age if a woman was that loose after marriage she would be called a slut.

Funny thing is, this was one of the only films I had ever heard of before this class. I had heard it referenced in a TV show or a different movie. I was very excited to see this film. While it was not necessarily the best moral message it was an enjoyable film.


This film is by Jean-Luc Goddard and came out in 1963.

It is about an unsuccessful man hired to write a screen play for a famous director. The characters seem very fake to me and therefore it was hard to relate easily to them.

What is very interesting about this film is that it is a film about the making of a film. (we have seen the idea of this several times in other french new wave films). The Hollywood producers in this film are not nicely portrayed. The beginning credits are announced by a voice over which differs from the way that most films start. However, we have seen some French new wave directors play with similar ideas in the openings of films.

Again not one of my favorites, but different in many ways. It seems to be a more classical film and I am sure that many may have enjoyed this more than I did.

Vivre sa vie

This film was by Jean-Luc Goddard and came out in 1962. Goddard could be considered to be obsessed with prostitutes. However, as we discussed in class, he views prostitutes as working class people, who are working to get the job done. The film centers around the life of a prostitute.

I love the voice over that explains the rules of prostitution. We see all aspects of this prostitutes life. We know why she became a prostitute and even see her interacting with many other prostitutes.

Goddard again plays with the camera. We dont even see Anna's face until after 10 minutes into the film. This helps to distance us from her in the beginning of the film. The film is completed in only 12 scenes.

This film was very interesting but terribly depressing. Not one of my favorites.

My Night at Maud's

This film is by Eric Rohmer and came out in 1969. It is a love story, but different that the usual love story. When Jean-Louis sees Maud in a church he decides immediately that she will become his wife.

This film has quite a bit of comedy, the usual and unusual love story stuff and even religion in it. This film focuses mainly on religion and how religion affects the characters decisions.

The film is very dialogue based, yet it still seems to move quickly. It doesn't leave too much time to question what will come next.

This film was easily relatable. We see the themes of lust, love, and religion all being intertwined.

Maud in this film was portrayed as a strong woman which is a nice change from how most women seem to be portrayed in all the french new wave films. Usually they are portrayed as stupid or manipulative beings only here for men's pleasure. However Maud is strong and clearly an equal with the male characters.

I enjoyed this film, not very often can religion be intertwined so easily in a film that can still be enjoyable to the masses.

Masculin Feminin

This film is again by Jean-Luc Goddard. It was made in black and white and with a very low budget. It came out in 1966. This film is able to penetrate reality and describes social reality. It also shows how a film can be used as a medium. This is not a linear film.

The french communist party was a major party at this time, it never won the election but always got at least 25-30% of the vote. You can see in this film that Goddard was getting more into politics. There are several references to the Vietnam war. This film was very choppy and does not flow well.

Again we see stereotypes that Goddard always faces. The plot is de-emphasized. He again experiments with sound ( it is there, stops, picks up again). The story is divided into chapters that are numbered, but does not flow numerically like chapters in a book would. The subtitles or messages of the chapters come with a loud, menacing, almost scary sound behind them. It definitely grabs your attention. We also see Goddard dealing with class and political issues.

The two main characters are Paul and Madeline. Paul is very anguished, troubled about politics and when asked what his main focus in life is said, Love. Madeline is very self centered and absorbed, her main focus in life would be herself.

The interviewing scenes are very weird. The scene want us to be unsure if we are seeing the actors or the characters give the answers. The scene of 2 people questioning each other are more like an interrogation scene than two people getting to know each other.

This film used montages, when Goddard wanted the idea of shocking and several different and random ideas/objects/things put together and having it work.

This film surprised me with the mention on birth control and abortion. I was also very surprised when Paul died. It follows the line of french new wave by showing us that film can contain/do/be anything.


This is a film by Jean-Luc Goddard. It came out in 1965. This film is a story by Lemmy Caution. It is a story about a computer (not HAL!) the genres this film is based on are film noir and science fiction. Basically the computers job is to eliminate anything feminine. It also could deal with the possible elimination of humanity. The idea of the computer is to end all illogical behavior (or feminine behavior depending on how you view women!) This film was shot and edited in one month. The voice of the computer was played by a man who had a laryinectomy.

There are two very disturbing scenes in this film. The first is the execution scene, 50 men to every 1 woman are shot off a diving board into a pool. A group of synchronized swimmers jump in and gather the floating dead bodies. What a fun job that would be. One man was executed because he cried when his wife died. The second disturbing scene is when the computer has gone bad, and Lemmy is trying to get the girl out of the building and you see all these people being drawn to the wall, wailing and swaying as though they have lost their minds.

This film again plays with sound. You could really hear the lighter opening and closing but when he is in his car cocking the gun you could not hear that. This film was almost oppressive. The fight scenes were absurd. When Caution is getting beat up in the elevator, we see him jump back and forth in the wall/men, when the fight scene takes place in the hotel, the girl sits naked in the tub, totally unaware of the huge fight taking place all around her. When he is stealing the car, we see him fight the guy trying to stop him. He grabs the guys head and closes the window on it, slow action fighting ensues, he ends up getting the guy to lay down and he runs over his head.

The film definitely mean to be funny. It pokes fun at the film noir and sci-fi genres. They are dealing with inter-galactic travel and yet drinking down a freeway/highway. the mise en scene was supposed to be advanced, the computer runs everything. Form follows function.

Again we see Goddard has an issue with a sexist attitude. All the women in the film are basically sex robots. Anna, his wife is again in this film, yet portrayed very differently than she used to be. Perhaps they had hit a rough patch in their marriage and he was less infatuated with her.

While not may favorite film it was still enjoyable. It definitely followed the form of french new wave with the constant camera movement.

the shadow patterns are very evident when Caution is questioning the man in the hall and we see the single light bulb swaying casting shadows on the wall.

Los Carabiniers

Los Carabiniers is a film by Jean-Luc Goddard. It was Goddard's fifth favorite film. It came out in 1963.

This was an interesting film, yet somewhat disturbing. The characters are almost cartoonish. One funny fact is that when the soldiers come to convince the boys to fight in the army, they say that they should fight in order to serve the King, however, France did not have a king. This film could easily be seen as a mockery of war, the boys become such bad people while fighting, doing amoral things and treating people very poorly. It could also be seen as an anti-war film.

The film is told mainly through letters (postcards) send home from a brother to his sister. There is a lot of use of text, handwritten rather than printed. There are a lot of jump cuts in this film. There is a lot of jumping ahead through cut shots, seemingly jumping several minutes ahead from where we last were.

Post cards play an important role in this film. While they are the main means of communication between characters, they are also what the brother bring home as "treasures". You watch and think that all they have brought home is pictures of things that they have seen, but in reality they are deeds to whatever is pictured on the front. Deeds to thing that they have won or stolen or gained during the war. This enforces the idea that ownership goes along with spectator ship.

Again Goddard plays with sound, loud sound effects of gun shots, fights and then there will be a spot of complete silence, at a time when you least expect it. Goddard also scorns the traditional ending, he wants to prove with this film that things do not always end up tied up and neat.

Overall, I thought this film was very interesting. I enjoyed the surprise of realizing that the postcards were in fact deeds and that the four of them had become rich, if only for a moment.