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2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Criterion Collection) (Version française) [Import]

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Gehrard, Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey, Roger Montsoret, Raoul Lévy
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard, Catherine Vimenet
  • Producers: Raoul Lévy, Anatole Dauman
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: July 21 2009
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • ASIN: B0026VBOJW
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Product Description

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (The Criterion Collection)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Randy Buck - Published on
Format: DVD
Many critics consider this 1967 Godard film to be among his very best, with several stating flatly it's the hands-down winner. (Amy Taubin makes an interesting case for this point of view in her essay for the current Criterion release.) I don't share that opinion, nor would I recommend this film as an introduction to Godard's work for the novice viewer. That said, there's still plenty to fascinate. Most of his usual markers (gorgeous actress front and center, prostitution as a plot device -- in this instance, used to pay for the heroine's middle-class lifestyle -- contempt for America and the Vietnam war, use of alienation devices that make Brecht look like Walt Disney) are on display, with varying degrees of impact. Godard's whispered narration is wearying; even with subtitles, that constant hissing annoys. But what a pleasure, after years of bad art-house prints, to see the cinematography, vibrant in its restoration, snap, crackle and pop with the comic-book vigor intended. This movie's gorgeous, the visuals are frequently laugh-out-loud funny, and, despite its obscurities and eccentricities, leaves the viewer pondering its message for days. Repays investigation for the dedicated viewer.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
We've got a lot to talk about... Oct. 4 2013
By Andrew Ellington - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 1967, Jean-Luc Godard released two very original pieces that explore similar themes with diverse results. `Week End', my personal favorite of the two, is brash and aggressive and dominates from scene to scene, whereas `2 or 3 Things I Know About Her' (the more critically acclaimed of the two) is a subtler, softer look at the power of sex, politics, money and life in general. Told in faux documentary fashion, `2 or 3 Things I Know About Her' is shot in a series of vignettes that follow a young actress portraying a young housewife who sells her body to make ends meet. It is through this façade that Godard explores a bounty of themes that were poignant at the time of release and still hold true today, given the shift in culture and the overbearing presence of the media. With lush backdrops (the cinematography is stunning) and some intriguing directorial flourishes (Godard has such a distinct voice), `2 or 3 Things I Know About Her' is a multi-faceted film that will tantalize and enlighten you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bigger than life film! Dec 18 2011
By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela - Published on
Format: DVD
Jean Luc Godard has been the most controversial, irreverent and rebel filmmaker of the New Wave French. This essay-picture mirrors with a style that actually could be seen as outdated, continues to amaze the viewer because its variegated frame of issues: Vietnam, sex, politics, philosophical opinions, art, styles of life, feminine attitudes that are widely related with the state of things by then.

Marina Vlady is a normal woman who is not afraid in prostitute herself to finance her small bougeoise pleasures. This is a very remarkable point because that same year Buñuel was making another similar film Belle de jour.

Godard was never a filmmaker easy to digest or bear. Anyway, its visual references, and audacious style well deserves an important place in your collection.

Watch it keeping into account this premiss in mind.
Godard again takes on consumer society, in a new experimental breakthrough that isn't entirely successful, but rich in imagery Oct. 4 2015
By Christopher Culver - Published on
Format: DVD
As the 1960s went on, Jean-Luc Godard was increasingly alarmed by the rise of consumerism in France. He first confronted this issue with his 1964 film Une femme mariée where the characters mindlessly repeated advertising slogans in their dialogue and the eponymous protagonist, keen on women's magazines and the latest fashion, was completely unaware of Auschwitz or other tragedies. A couple of years later, Godard read a magazine article about a housewife in one of the big new highrises outside Paris who, while her husband was at work, prostituted herself to afford all the nice things that he couldn't buy her. This led him to take up the housewife theme again, but the resulting film, 2 OU 3 CHOSES QUE JE SAIS D'ELLE (Two or Three Things I Know About Her) is a considerable departure from past work and marks Godard's adoption of a more overtly political cinema.

Marina Vlady, not even 28 years old then but already seen as a venerable old actress, plays Juliette Jeanson. Married to Robert (Roger Montsoret), an auto mechanic, she begins her day by seeing him off to work, her young son off to school, and then dropping her infant daughter off at a day care. The film tracks her visiting boutiques and the hairdresser, with her means of affording all this only alluded to at first. Godard gradually reveals the element of prostitution in all this, suggesting that many of the young women Juliette encounters over the course of a day are doing the same. The only encounters with johns are depicted in a banal fashion, everyone involved clearly bored. These scenes of housewife life are separated by shots of construction workers across Paris erecting a new and considerably more impersonal city.

In 2 OU 3 CHOSES, Godard heavily uses a technique that he had experimented with in his earlier two films: a headphone is worn by a female actress (whose voluminous hairdo hides it from the camera), and then Godard would ask her questions or have her repeat to the camera lines that he fed her without prior preparation. Thus much of the film consists of the protagonist or other characters delivering what seem to be disjointed monologues. The technique tends to dehumanize the characters, just as Godard feels that consumerism makes everyone a zombie. But it also makes them blatant mouthpieces for Godard's own thoughts, which can start to feel rather tiresome. (If you've wondered where the dividing line is between "New Wave" Godard and "political" Godard falls, it's here.)

Indeed, Godard goes heavily didactic here. Over much of the film he gives a voiceover in a barely-intelligible whisper, presenting his own fears and hopes. Over one of the film's most famous shots, the swirls in a hot cup of coffee, Godard even says something which doesn't even seem to be related to the film at all, but which involved his disappointment at being jilted by Vlady romantically at this time. But in his voiceovers and in the dialogue of his characters, Godard also takes on the war then raging in Vietnam to such a degree that the original housewife prostitution plot is pushed aside (or at least made only a tiny part of a vast geo-social-cultural-political point the director is making), and Godard's disappointment with the United States is presented in a bitter fashion.

Thus 2 OU 3 CHOSES is, in my opinion, a not completely successful experiment, where Godard wanted to include the whole world but was unable to make the elements cohere. Still, it is worth watching for cinephiles. While, as I said, Godard had dealt with the "housewife and consumerism" theme in an earlier film, this is much more effective due to its use of color. After all, commercial brands were deft users of color to attract the eye of shoppers, and a mere black-and-white shoot would miss out on this explosion of hues. (At one point Godard says in voiceover, "If you can't afford LSD, buy a colour television.") The final voiceover and camera shot is particularly majestic in this regard. Elsewhere in the film, as we move through blocks of flats, shops, or city streets, Raoul Coutard's cinematography is mindblowing, with long takes of powerful impact.

Criterion's edition is so far only on DVD, which is a shame since the visual splendour of the film calls for the higher definition of Blu-Ray. There are a few interesting extras. Godard's films of this era abound in references to literature, philosophy and politics, and Criterion gives a 9-minute walkthrough for all these allusions. Archival material consists of television interviews from the time of the film's release, one of Vlady where she explains Godard's demands on set, and the other where Godard spars with a government economist. There is a 15-minute interview with Antoine Bourseiller, a man of the theatre and close friend of Godard in the 1960s, who contributed to several of Godard's works in this era (it is Bourseiller's children that act in this particular film). Though his admiration for Godard remains undimmed, Bourseillier poiginantly recounts how Godard cut off all contact with his former bourgeois acquaintances at this time as his political despair grew. Finally, the audio commentary is by scholar Adrian Martin, though I found this to be very disjointed, as if Martin hadn't prepared notes beforehand but just spoke off the top of his head.
Interesting movie, but too much at once Aug. 4 2013
By ItReviewsEverything - Published on
Format: DVD
This film may be Jean-Luc Godard at his least accessible. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is the lucid journey through the experiences of French women in the 1960s. There is virtually no plot, just a series of scenes with her children and at work as a prostitute; blended in with all of this are scenes of other women in this line of work.

This "story" is told in a very interesting manner though, flowing between all these scenes and strung together by the whispers of an omnipresent male narrator as well as the women occasionally breaking the fourth wall and speaking to us directly. In addition, prostitution serves as an interesting metaphor; these are all women who appear to be middle-class, yet they are apparently forced into this lifestyle of exploitation by men.

This creates the gender divide recurring throughout the film. The women do what they need to in order to make ends meet, including resorting to prostitution. Meanwhile, the men often have their heads in the clouds, focusing on international politics or theory, lacking the practical "skill" the women employ.

I could follow the film through this much, but on top of this there was clearly a critical commentary on consumer culture and capitalism; it was hard for me to understand its place in all the action though, and the reversion to this theme made the end product seem a bit bloated to me, as if Godard tried to bite off more than he could chew.

This movie certainly reflects Godard's effort to surge into more serious territory, particularly gender politics. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her isn't for everybody, but it is good viewing for Godard aficionados. Most Americans (myself included) aren't very conscious of representations of feminism in other countries, so this film is particularly illuminating.