Sunday, November 26, 2006

2 or 3 things i didn't like

happy with my moviegoing frequency of late, but not all of 'em are good. saw Godard's "Two or Three Things I Know About Her" today and wasn't wild about it. i'm a really big fan of two of his movies, "Masculine Feminine" and "Weekend," and i guess i'd have to say that i felt this seemed like a less fun version of the former or a more preachy version of the latter.

there's not much of a story to speak of--basically it's like impressionistic scenes of this couple going about their lives, which for the woman includes a whole bunch of, uh, how you say, casual prostitution. those scenes are interspersed with these "title cards" with a man's voice whispering philosophical stuff about consumerism, numbness to world crises, city life, linguistic theory, etc. etc.

there are some lighthearted moments, such as when the couple's young child matter-of-factly interprets his dream as signifying the reunion of N. and S. Vietnam, and when these girls working in a chic clothing store turn to the camera one by one to state their name and tell what they're doing after work. so there's some of that nice Godard deadpan absurdity. but the theory is really tough to wade through sometimes and there's just no narrative thread.

"Masculine Feminine" is an extremely sad and deep film, but it's also really fun to watch and i can't say i enjoyed this one that way. the look was extremely memorable: tons of amazing colors; the scenes in the clothing store are just totally intense and beautiful to look at. also there was a really nice sequence in an auto garage that sort of just keeps replaying the same events over and over again with a different spin, plus these nice, wonderfully composed shots of urban landscapes. but overall, i guess it just felt kind of dated to me, like a kind of by-the-numbers Godard: it had all of the pretentiousness, which is usually kind of fun in Godard's hands, and not all that much of the charm that made you want to push through the difficult bits.

maybe it all comes down to the fact that the main characters were so stoic and unlikable. also, their dialogue is interspersed with theory-style narration, making them seem like Godard's mouthpieces rather than actual people.

anyway, i feel like these sorts of revivals are always worth seeing just b/c it's so rare to get to check something like this out in a theater. but i wasn't wild about the flick. if you haven't seen "Masculine Feminine," you've got to check that out--it's really one of the wittiest, weirdest, most beautiful movies i can think of.

--> actually, just remembered, there was one really, really funny scene in "2 or 3 Things" where the main woman and her friend are undressing for this weird photographer dude. he speaks in English and wears this shirt with an American flag on it and makes the women put these tote bags over their heads--this weird fetish thing. anyway, that's totally hilarious and offbeat. and there's also an awesomely absurd scene at a brothel where all the prostitutes leave their kids in daycare. now that i'm thinking about it, maybe i liked this more than i thought...

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