Masculin Féminin

Masculin Féminin ★★★★

Godard is film's preeminent chronicler of shitty boyfriends, and in a way his movies act as a shitty boyfriend to movie people everywhere: What you want and what you get are often two very different things. In this case, I sort of crave some explicit acknowledgement that Paul and his friends are actually kind of gross, feeling up strangers in a cafe and generally interrogating every female they come across like they owe them some explanation for their very existence. I realize that's the opposite of what I usually want in a dramatist, preferring to figure out that sort of thing for myself (see the debate over The Wolf of Wall Street for a current example), but that's just one contradictory response to a movie that's full of contradictions - the title, for one, and a cinematic aesthetic that's both convincingly docu-realistic and playfully distancing. I don't like it, but I like it a lot.

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