Tuesday, January 26, 2010
#308: Masculin Féminin
Masculin Féminin is the first Godard movie I've seen that didn't anger me or intrigue me or exhilarate me. It bored me. This realization came about 30 minutes into the film, which meant I spent a little over an hour thinking about why. The conclusion I came to was that, more than any other movie by the filmmaker, Masculin Féminin is about its own time, and little else.
This became even more clear upon reading the (admittedly strong) essay that accompanies the film. The essay spends a large portion of its length trying to explain why the film is universal. While it's well-argued, I'm ultimately not convinced. Part of Godard's inherent appeal - in films from Breathless and A Woman is a Woman to Our Music and In Praise of Love - is that his films are almost fatally contemporary. Sometimes (like in the cases I just mentioned) this is a plus. In this case, the movie feels archaic, a product of its time that speaks to the people of its time, rather than about them or about a more universal truth.
Maybe if I had seen this film in 1966 I would have loved it. I'd be interested to hear from people who are my age who feel differently, but I suspect there are not many of them.