fri 14/06/2024

DVD: Une Femme Mariée | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Une Femme Mariée

DVD: Une Femme Mariée

Unfamiliar Jean-Luc Godard contemplation rescued from between the cracks

‘Une Femme Mariée’: Charlotte (Macha Méril) ponders what’s happening to her

Une Femme Mariée has been all but lost. Made in 1964 and barely seen since, it lurked silently in Godard's filmography between Bande à Part and Alphaville. Its availability on Dual Format DVD/Blu-ray plugs a gap and also offers the chance to find a continuity in Godard’s film-making that previously didn’t seem to be there.

Although Une Femme Mariée shares much of its languorously disassociated atmosphere with Alphaville, it’s more comfortably slotted into a line traced from Une Femme est une Femme and Vivre sa Vie to, later, Masculin Féminin: films dissecting the female role and perspective, placing the protagonists in a world where media, external expectations and current mores both affect and require interpretation.

Une Femme Mariee DVDThe sub-title “Fragments of a Film Shot in 1964 in Black and White” implies that Une Femme Mariée is going to be more impressionistic than it actually is. Despite the cuts and sudden juxtapositions familiar to Godard, it’s pretty linear. The feline Charlotte (Macha Méril) is married, having an affair with actor Robert (Bernard Noël). Her husband Pierre (Philippe Leroy) is a pilot who’s hardly ever around. Days are spent drifting between Robert, the swimming pool, the department store, all-the-time changing taxis as a suspicious Pierre previously had a private eye tail her. The interactions between the three are talky, analytical and occasionally hilarious. A colleague of Pierre’s comes to dinner and the couple discuss their apartment, its location and contents as though reading from sales brochures. Charlotte says “the most important thing to understand is what is happening to me”. She realises she's on the same track as Racine’s thwarted Bérénice. For his part, Godard frequently focusses on brassieres and discussions of breasts. When her visit to a swimming pool is seen in disorienting negative, her lack of control is clear. Equally striking is the sinuous camerawork following her and Robert around Orly airport.

The restoration is magnificent. This extraordinary film is accompanied by its Godard-directed trailer and a superb 78-page book with in-depth analysis (some of it from Godard). Une Femme Mariée is essential.

Watch Jean-Luc Godard’s trailer for Une Femme Mariée

'Une Femme Mariée' shares much of its languorously disassociated atmosphere with 'Alphaville'


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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