A Woman Is a Woman (The Criterion Collection) [Import]
One of the landmark early films of the French New Wave, director Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless) weaves a tale of desperation and deceit. Anna Karina (Vivre Sa Vie) plays a stripper determined to have a child in the hopes that it will better her life. She tries in vain to convince her rough, selfish boyfriend (Jean-Paul Belmondo) to father the child, but he refuses. In desperation and sparked by anger she turns to his best friend to father the child, setting off a new round of recrimination and betrayal. Une Femme Est une Femme is one of Godard's first films and essential viewing for fans of the Nouvelle Vague, to chart the beginnings of the detached mood and style that influenced a coming generation of films. --Robert Lane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
AWOMAN IS A WOMAN ("Une Femme est une Femme"), Godard's third film, is as much a milestone as his own "Breathless" two years earlier. The basic premise is effectively that of a kitchen sink drama; an exotic dancer's (Anna Karina) whim to have a baby is met with consternation by her boyfriend (Jean-Claude Brialy), who is further dismayed when she asks a mutual friend (Jean-Paul Belmondo) to act as a surrogate father.
But the neo-realist background gives way to a film shot in bold, giddy colours and synchronised to Legrand's harebrained soundtrack - A WOMAN IS A WOMAN is best described as a musical with no singing. Actors frequently affect choreographed like stances and positions, their conversations punctuated with overtly dramatic interventions from Legrand's score. Our heroine expresses her desire to appear in an American musical, "with Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse", before adopting the relevant deportment for the approval of the audience, who are constantly consulted, bowed to, winked at and cavorted with by actors revelling in front of Godard's lens.
It is Godard's preference for the actor, in favour of the character, that makes A WOMAN IS A WOMAN an unparalleled experience in spontaneity. Filmed without a script, the actors wear their own clothes and concoct their own dialogue.Read more ›
Karina is at her charisamatic best and Belmondo complements her at every turn as the more fun-loving of her suitors. Brialy is also quite excellent as the somewhat clueless man in her life. Que magnifique! Paris in the early 1960s is never so vibrant and magical as depicted through Godard's camera. The musical vignettes - Godard's hommage to American musical theater - add layers to the emotional tone of the film, which while spotlighting the talents of Godard regulars Karina and Belmondo, is yet another delightful love poem to Paris, the City of Lights. Its colors, moods, and aspects as registered in his heroine's predicament.
Like any self-respecting auteur, he injects intertextual references to other "classics" of the French New Wave school - his own "Breathless", his friend Truffaut's "Shoot the Piano Player" among others, including icons of the American musical film.
A must-see for Godard fans!
Most recent customer reviews
A Woman is a Woman should be re-released by the Criterion Collection in the 2nd half of 2004. Save your money from buying the expensive Fox-Lorber version.Published on March 8 2004 by none
A lot of people don't like Godard very much, and I understand why: he sometimes seems more interested in making a theoretical or academic point than in making an enjoyable movie... Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2003 by R. Moss
By now, Godard is a somewhat mythical creature to cinephiles and to the casual film viewer alike. The mention of his name conjures up romantic notions of the filmmaker and the... Read morePublished on July 7 2003 by Amazon Customer
I've read the reviews on here, even the one who gave it 4 stars. I originally saw this film in French with NO subtitles, and even though my French is rusty, I still appreciated it... Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2002 by HH
This is certainly one of the finest films Godard has ever made and not in spite of the criticisms that could be leveled against it but because of them. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2002 by Bradd Allen Saunders
Jean-Luc Godard it is said by some to be one of the greatest French filmmakers ever! It is also said that he was a great inventor for cinema. Read morePublished on March 21 2001 by Alex Udvary
I will never buy Fox Lorber stuff again. I did watch five minutes of "A woman is a woman" and after that I just coulnd't take it anymore so I did throw the thing out in... Read morePublished on Aug. 14 2000
Not a musical, not a comedy, hardly a tribute to Hollywood movies -- not much of anything, really. Aside from "Breathless", isn't it time to admit Godard is among the... Read morePublished on May 4 2000 by Neal
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