Masculin Féminin

Masculin Féminin ★★★★

Godard looks at the gap between the genders and generations in Paris of 1965-6. A time and place that is so resolutely pre-68, pre- sexual revolution, pre-acid that while it's attitudes, stars and director were firmly at the forefront of the counter-culture when it was made it feels like a very strange halfway house of an antique. It's focus on a ye-ye singer and the moddish clothes, the pinball and the coats and the constant soundtrack of French pop make it a gorgeous time capsule at the same time as Godard is spinning his usual slyly funny games of distancing and experimentation.

I'm not generally that much of a fan of Godard post-Karina but for some reason the gender stuff hit with me here, maybe because it is so scattershot and misanthropic. Leaud is at once so hopeless and so on the nose as a representative of the young male 60s hipster. The women are all so far above Leaud and beyond he and his friends dismissive categorisations, their will-full disinterest in the things Leaud and co consider important serves only to further attack the male characters rather than have them seem ignorant.

I'm not sure if thats what Godard intended, maybe it's the decades of distance and hindsight making the men seem silly and therefore rescuing the women from the films scorn. No idea, I found the film funny all the same, and at it's dark funniest when Leaud was at his most futilely pompous.

It took me a little while to tune into and it's pleasures are a mixture of dark humour and gorgeous images of 60s Paris, but I ended up very glad I'd returned to Godard after a break of a few years.





The final film on my
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