Godard’s Playfulness and Fervor in A Woman is a Woman

Jean-Claude Brialy and Anna Karina

Spunky, playful, and silly. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about A Woman is a Woman. Prior to watching the movie one of the people I trust the most when it comes to taste in movies, already speak highly of Jean-Luc Godard. My friend absolutely adores his 1969 film, Pierrot Le Fou, and I have to say that Godard did not disappoint when I watched A Woman is a Woman. The movie was a treat from start to finish, with so many things to discuss about it. There’s the spirited plot, perky characters, and it’s complete deconstruction of the cinematic form of a conventional Hollywood musical. But perhaps simple pleasure of being a film that enjoys itself without restrictions and any imposed boundaries what is to be loved most about the film.

I wholly believe that before being concerned about anything else, the movie wants to have fun and represent what cinema could be if it’s stripped of all it’s rules. The whole fight between Emile and Angela complete with a humorous rolling of their R’s, a whole fuss about cooking, random biking inside a house, fighting over a lamp, and making comments using books, They were tongue-in-cheek humor that I repeatedly watch scenes several times again after I saw the movie. Yet even though Emile and Angela are obviously to be rooted for, there are also times you enjoy with Alfred and his character’s charm and his relentless pursuit of Angela.

Godard’s love of the craft of film transcends this masterpiece more than anything else. It feels as if we are being taken into his own colorful mind where characters dance around and babble nonsense and music suddenly plays out of nowhere. The plot didn’t have much depth to it, we were dawdling, bantering, and flirting with the characters to care too much about it. The story was merely a canvas for Godard to paint upon bright colors that beam back and forth as his camera drifts to subjects carrying on with their superfluous conversations as scenes are cut in-and-out without warning.

Despite not having seen Breathless, being an avid cinephile means being aware of Godard’s fame and how he redefined traditional cinema by blatantly using sudden, unorthodox cuts. I didn’t understand at first the depth of storytelling those cuts could actually carry, but after seeing A Woman is a Woman, I can’t help but think there’s more to it than Godard making a statement about filmmaking that’s free of restrictions. In fact, I think it’s his way of separating us from the characters, suddenly cutting us off, and telling us not to be to engrossed by the story and the movie’s troubles. He constantly reminds us, that hey, this is a viewing experience. It’s just a film. Enjoy it. I think this is also why his characters suddenly breaks the fifth wall every now and then to acknowledge the audience our bow to them.

Especially in A Woman is a Woman, Jean-Luc Godard is challenging viewers to forget about inhibitions, forget everything you know about cinema, sit back and relish in music and vibrant frames. His fervor in this nonconformist piece is truly a delight and I honestly believe there’s no one else in the world who could’ve made a film like this.

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