Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Two or Three Things I Know About Her (2 ou 3 Choses Que je Sais D'Elle) (1967)

Jeg ved 2-3 ting om hende
Godard again, Hurrah….

I am really on a streak of obscure films here.

Ah, well.

“Two or Three Things I Know About Her…” (“Deux ou Trois choses que je sais d'elle”) is a movie without an actual story. Instead we see some people in Paris and some pictures of Paris itself. I learned from the synopsis in the Book and on Wikipedia that this is a portrayal of Paris and the consumer society, using housewife prostitution as a metaphor of consumerism. Well, I suppose that may well be the case. I could even think this could be an interesting idea, but true to form Godard ruins it and I rapidly loose interest in the movie and what I see is a stylistic exercise, disconnected from the viewer.

A description of the movie (Wikipedia for once gave up on the subtitle “Plot” and replaced it with “Description”) would have to be about the form, because nothing actually happens in the scenes. There is a narrator who whispers a very political commentary to the pictures we see. Apparently, the entire world and certainly Paris is a capitalistic plot to serve the rich against the poor. The narrator is not really certain of what he is narrating and often it seems he is getting confused. The characters, who appear and disappears, sometimes speaks to the camera, sometimes we hear their thoughts and sometimes they have an actual dialogue, often at the same time and with zero connection between them.

There is a contrast between hyper-realism and surrealism that often clashes and either seems to sabotage the other. I do understand isolated parts, like the woman Juliette (Marina Vlady) who walks around in town, drops off her child at a pimp (I presume), goes shopping and then takes some casual prostitution clients. The idea, presumably, is that to live the consumer life she wants she has to prostitute herself and does that with cold casualness.

At every opportunity possible Godard has to comment on America as the big devil and the Vietnam war. How that ties into the rest is unclear to me. Consumerism is an American, capitalistic plot against the poor French?

In the entire movie there was one scene which, in its silliness, stood out for me. For one of the prostitution jobs Juliette and her friend had to walk naked with airline bags over their heads while being filmed by an American client. That was actually funny, though I have a feeling it was not intended as being amusing.

Whatever Godard had on his mind with this movie is drowned out by stylistic artifice, and it seems to me more like artistic masturbation than a movie intended for an audience. As a viewer I am not invited into this movie and feel therefore rather indifferent towards it. Trust Godard to take something that could be a good idea and sabotage it.

I am certain there is an audience for Godard’s movies, but please, please why do we who follow the List have to watch so many of them? Not recommended.



  1. As much as it sucks being forced to watch more Godard, it was probably a good decision to start the year with him; he has two this year, but they're the last two of his on the list, and then you're DONE. FINALLY. :D

    I have no real platitudes to give regarding these last two Godards; Week End at least has the memorable traffic jam that is the film's centerpiece, but they're both still Godard at his most... odd. At least it's nearly over.

    1. At least that. Thank you for the heads-up.
      I have no clue why it was so important to watch all these Godard movies. I get it that the French new wave was influential, but I could have managed with, say, two Godards. That would give me enough of an impression.

  2. Good news that he will be out of my life as of 1967! I think I have three more to go. Yuck.

    1. Lucky you.
      There is a streak of obscure List movies in the mid-sixties that I am not sure I needed. You would not get any harsh words from me if you skipped a few of them.