• For Godard’s 12th feature he takes on updating The Big Sleep– making it his own of course with a splattering of cutaway collage– it is self-reflexive and highly referential. The Big Sleep is famous for not only being a great film—but for being an incomprehensible plot—perfect for Godard’s subterfuge

Godard taps Anna Karina on the shoulder to be his Bogart—she’s sublime, she’s brooding, whiskey drinking, gun twirling, all in her trademark heavy blue eye shadow and a colorful sweater.

  • Like WKW would do decades later with Chungking Express and Fallen Angels– Godard shot Made in U.S.A. at the same time as 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her– one during the day, and one at night.
  • Big, bold red, white and blue titles- Godard’s dedication to a color scheme design is now woven through A Woman is a Woman (1961), Contempt (1963), Pierrot Le Fou (1965) and Made in U.S.A. (1966)
  • There is a constant focus on the background as well as the foreground here—color, backdrops, signage- the full use of the Eastmancolor larger aspect ratio 2.35 : 1

Godard is smart to cast Karina again (sadly this would be their last feature together)- she’s hypnotic- many of the best sequences are simply her in close-up… Jennifer Lawrence looks a bit like her here

  • Godard’s splicing and dicing is not just about the visual montage- the audio mix here is wild—he uses like an airplane design often, drops it in and out along with the music — Godard also clutters the audio when the character “Richard P” has his name dropped
  • A stunner at the 16-minute mark with Anna in a trench coach lighting a cigarette with the red, white and blue advertisement in the backdrop
  • Set in a fake Atlantic City- clearly shot in Paris- but part of his homage to Godard’s American film influences
  • Part of the cutaway milieu and transitions are to political message on the electronic news sign…

… Godard’s version of the Ozu pillow shot

… part of the collage here– writing, like Pierrot— in red, white and blue

The beauty salon cinematic painting at 30-minutes— Godard made films in a rush, but he certainly has an eye for composition- especially in his color films— Fassbinder is much the same

  • Masterful composition at the 34-minute mark— the red taxi, yellow lettering and blue background- primary colors and he even throughs in a canted angle and when the car moves- it reveals the red shutters against the blue background. Godard dedicated the movie to Ray and Sam (Nicolas Ray and Sam Fuller). Ray in particular adored primary colors—so it makes sense that Godard would take that on. Ray used reds for James Dean’s jacket (Rebel Without a Cause), yellow for Joan Crawford’s blouse (Johnny Guitar), and blue for just about everything he did in color for his famous day-for-night sequences

Mentioned it is referential- almost all of the characters names are from Godard’s heroes here in cinema- “Widmark”, “Ben Hecht”, “Melville”

  • Designed décor, costume, items—the blue plate and red machine on the ground at 36 minutes, oil drums painted primary colors
  • Reflexive- addressing the camera— in multiple scenes Karina’s character simply explains the subtext-haha

The foreground/background jaw-dropper at 53-minutes—yellow background with Karina in the lower portion of the frame

a dedication to background as well as foreground— which isn’t always part of the mix with Godard

Just acting in front of these massive billboards at 55-minutes—Walt Disney

  • There are some problems- Godard cuts to a close-up of this AIWA tape recorder for minutes at a time in a short film—its just lazy — the film also ends with a thud, just long chatter in the car—with a better ending this is a Must-See film
  • The comically bad death scene for Leaud is part of Godard’s plan- showing the artifice of film—it is intentional and the bad death scenes are a part of many of his films including Band of Outsiders, Breathless
  • Writing like “I think advertising is a form of fascism” and – “we were in a political movie… Walt Disney with blood”- superb – and Karina says ““You can fool the movie audience, but not me”- which is both a great line and part of Godard’s postmodern genre/cinema dissection
  • Must-See film