• Godard saw this as a sort of rebirth, a second debut, and I do think there is a very nice formal connective tissue between the jump cut editing in 1960’s Breathless and the slow-motion work here twenty years later in Every Man for Himself.
  • It opens on an Ozu-like doorway and interior – it is the last beautiful imagine in the film (not that stunning imagery has ever been a major strength of Godard’s compared to the other greats).
  • Jacques Dutronc (playing a film director named Godard who smokes cigars constantly and makes a fascinating confession about hating directing films) is sitting there listening to opera… though it isn’t a radio, or the music soundtrack (sort of)- but an actual opera singer in his apartment building that follows him in the next scene as well- this is just one of the many ways Godard messes with convention—playfully postmodern and reflexive.
  • Spirited (and random) chapter breaks (including one for “zero”), and an actual title for 1. “Slow motion”. But this isn’t really like any slow-motion we’ve seen before. Godard isn’t the detailed technician De Palma, Kurosawa or Peckinpah are—this is more about the flippant use of film style and Godard’s message of pulling back the curtain. It works better as part of the film form than as slow-motion photography. It is almost like half-cutaway and half-transition—like the transition editing, the throttling, in Hopper’s 1969 film Easy Rider
  • A reoccurring theme of Godard’s throughout his oeuvre—prostitution being forced upon normal citizens—and there is a lot here on perversion and sexuality
  • This is a mini-ensemble about the interconnected lives of these characters— Isabelle Huppert (first year in the archives along with 1980’s Heaven’s Gate– I think this technically debuted first) is really the main character and she’s not in the first 30-minutes of the film
  • Godard is constantly pulling the rug out from under us with the audio…. three separate characters ask “what’s with the music?” and in the line at the movie theater a man runs out and says “they cut out the sound”—playful winking. In the final scene a full orchestra is shown on screen playing up tragic music with the actual audio score just pouring over the top as well- wild
  • The film overall is a challenge, like Roeg or Resnais it is really told in cryptic fragments
  • Recommend / Highly Recommend border