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A Woman Is A Woman

Jean-Luc Godard

With A Woman Is a Woman (Une femme est une femme), compulsively innovative director Jean-Luc Godard presents “a neorealist musical—that is, a contradiction in terms.” Featuring French superstars Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean-Claude Brialy at their peak of popularity, A Woman Is a Woman is a sly, playful tribute to—and interrogation of—the American musical comedy, showcasing Godard’s signature wit and intellectual acumen. The film tells the story of exotic dancer Angéla (Karina) as she attempts to have a child with her unwilling lover Émile (Brialy). In the process, she finds herself torn between him and his best friend Alfred (Belmondo). A dizzying compendium of color, humor, and the music of renowned composer Michel Legrand, A Woman Is a Woman finds the young Godard at his warmest and most accessible, reveling in and scrutinizing the mechanics of his great obsession: the cinema.

“Cinema in its purest form!” – André S. Labarthe, Cahiers du Cinema

“Never heavy-handed, the film defies genre-placement. This subversive musical celebrates female empowerment and takes sly jabs at Hollywood film conventions. Godard’s use of music is at its best here, not to be rivaled until the impeccable, metallic soundscape of Alphaville.” – Slant

“An intoxicating expression of that devotion, and of the idea, more liberating then than now, that movie love was the stuff that movies could be made of.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“One of Godard’s funniest pictures, the film rattles off gag after gag with a machine-gun frequency that recalls the screwballs the director worshipped, a frequency that would leave contemporary comedies in the dust.” – Village Voice

“Despite being largely regarded as minor Godard, A Woman Is a Woman is not only one of Jean-Luc Godard’s most purely exuberant films but one which prefigures many of the aesthetic and thematic concerns that the filmmaker would revisit and refine in later works. Perhaps the most notable of these is the bold, comic book-style color palette and flat, planimetric framings, which Godard would push further towards abstraction in Pierrot fe fou and Two Or Three Things I Know About Her.” – James Slaymaker, Mubi

“Eastmancolor primaries saturate our heroine, but then Godard reverses the shot and shows us an actual rotating filter at work; actors constantly break the fourth wall and address the camera directly. They’re the sorts of tricks that Godard would apply in different fashion so much over the coming decade that it can only be a tribute to his astonishing gift for subversion that nearly every visual and aural trick in A Woman Is a Woman still shocks to this day.” – Reverse Shot

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  • 1/5 | 6:00PM
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