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  Two or Three Things I Know About Her In This CityBuy this film here.
Year: 1967
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Joseph Gehrard, Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey, Roger Monstoret, Raoul Lévy, Jean Narboni, Jean-Luc Godard
Genre: Drama
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: The city is Paris and our narrator (our director Jean-Luc Godard) is about to tell us of the two or three things he knows about her, mainly the manner in which it is being developed which he is not too happy about. He also knows two or three things about Juliette (Marina Vlady), as she introduces herself as a wife and mother and prepares to take us through her day. She also turns her head to the right and the left, but that is not important. What is important is what it takes to get by in the modern world...

Godard was a busy boy in 1967, as this was one of three features he had released (although this was made the year before), and one of those others was Weekend, an example of his most celebrated. On the other hand, this was not quite so well received, and while it might not have been as visually adventurous, the ideas flowed nevertheless. In a way, watching this, known in its native land as 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle, is a lot like reading yesteryear's newspapers, as the concerns for society that Godard had as illustrated here can be viewed as out of date.

Not that this makes the film quaint, it's too unyielding for that, so you do not get a rush of nostalgia from watching this, unless, maybe, you were politically active in Paris in the mid-sixties and even then it would be the upheavals of the year following this film's release that would probably be more vivid in your mind. Taking that into consideration, Godard appears to be believing here that world events are coming to a head, as if often the case with deep thinkers and armchair commentators alike and he was kind of right about that, although he doesn't take into account the fact that life goes on afterwards.

So this is not as apocalyptic as Weekend, and connects the personal story of Juliette to the social problems of Paris at the time. And not only the capital, as thoughts of the conflict in Vietnam surface with the expected inevitability, with the United States colonialism taking place culturally as well as militarily, as Godard exhibits great suspicions of consumerism as well, which he views as the dark side of American capitalism. A capitalism which is altering his home city for the worst, if we are to accept his whispered narration.

But what of the personal? Being a housewife, Juliette is a consumer as well, but not simply in buying groceries, no, she goes window shopping as well, visiting department stores and expensive clothes shops where she will try on things she cannot afford. To supplement he husband's income, and while her young children are at school or kindergarten, she even turns to prostitution, essentially becoming a product herself, all part of the head-shaking and tutting that makes up most of this film. Godard has fire in his belly, no doubt about it, yet his methods in getting his point across here verge on the alienating and over-intellectual and could well turn most viewers off to his message, even taking into account how long ago this was made. It is still possible to enjoy his technique, however.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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