1961

“A Woman is a Woman” was the first French film I’ve ever watched. The style seemed very old, and was nice to observe dated design of this European movie. There were good aspects, as well as bad parts alike to anything in life. While I admittedly was confused while watching majority of this movie, I do have some commentary about my experience watching.

One prominent aspect of the film was that the music was abruptly starting and stopping. It didn’t aid the dialogue very much. It actually almost distracted me from the scenes, which didn’t have very smooth transitions. I’ve never really appreciated the significance of transitions between segments of a film until I watched Angela bicker with Emile and then kiss passionately in a choppy clip immediately after. Besides that, I found the long panning around the room to be uninteresting and dragging, still drawing my attention away from the point of the scene.

On a more positive note, I enjoyed the characters. I understood that Angela was beautiful, desired, and quite dramatic. She was very stubborn as observed in her endless efforts to conceive a baby with her lover, probably boyfriend, Emile. This could also be observed in how she forgave Emile over the phone but wouldn’t admit it. Their comments that were directed to the viewers gave a comedic tone to the film. It was nice that Angela was so lively and sassy, otherwise I might have dozed off during the film. Emile was as Angela described him, clever and handsome. Their silent treatment fight was ironically witty and could be offensive to some. They always seemed to make up, as seen in the awning signal Angela had for Alfred. Speaking of Alfred, I could only describe him as a sort of space cadet. Not very motivated or active minded, but incredibly passionate for Angela. Willing to run into the wall to prove his love for her, who was just stringing him along for her baby.

Putting aside the characters and technical parts of the film, it all did seem very french. The outfits of the civilians were stylish and layered according to weather. Many people had cigarettes, lighting the sticks of strangers, and even smoking indoors as well. In some corners couples would be holding one another in a passionate embrace. There were also many characters that were portrayed as strippers or prostitutes living very normal lives and having very normal relationships. I wonder if this is part of French or European culture. I always thought, not personally, that people with those jobs were looked down upon. I also have to question if it is still acceptable in the present day if it was so in the past. Angela seemed to be confident and actually quite happy. She even denied that job, I’m assuming that it was for her undying love for Emile.

Overall, it was a quite interesting movie to watch. But “A Woman is a Woman” was pretty difficult to watch, and it was easy to forget that it is a musical. I couldn’t tell if they were singing, or it the musical parts were the sound scores coming in and out of the scenes. I liked Angela, Emile, and Alfred. I even liked Angela’s prostitute neighbour that had many customers, she even had a phone. True to the dialogue, you won’t be able to tell if it is a comedy or a tragedy.

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