Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Une Femme Mariee|
Actors: Philippe Leroy, Bernard Noel, Rita Maiden, Macha Méril, Roger Leenhardt
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests
?Godard is to his medium what Joyce, Stravinsky, Eliot, and Picasso were to theirs.? ?The Village Voice Legendary French New Wave auteur Jean-Luc Godard reverses the standard love triangle and challenges the influence of c... more »
Z | USA | 07/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a Godard fan I would rank this film ahead of some of his other higher profile films. It is a much more impressive cinematic experience than Le Petit Soldat, Bande a Part, Le Chinoise or Masculin Feminin. The story (basically a sociological study, not a psychological one) is concise and focused. Coutard's cinematography is surpassed perhaps only by Contempt and Prenom Carmen. What is truly amazing is this film went through pre-production, filming, editing to completion in under 30 days! The DVD has no extras but the transfer looks amazing."
Blu-ray: A Jean-Luc Godard masterpiece! Awesome that Master
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 02/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1964. Jean-Luc Godard has had another success with his fifth film "Bande a part" (Band of Outsiders) and began his sixth feature film "Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" (A Married Woman: Fragments from a film from 1964 in Black and White). The film which he began in June 1964 was shot in a four weeks, edited within five weeks and shown at the Venice Film Festival in early September.
Among the few early '60s Godard titles that have not been released in the U.S., fortunately EUREKA!'s Masters of Cinema (based in the UK) have heeded the call of cinema fans worldwide and have decided to release most of their Blu-ray's ala non-region (with the exception of a title or two that were released in the US by the Criterion Collection).
"Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" is rather an interesting, entertaining and profound film by Jean-Luc Godard. Quite different than "Band of Outsiders" which preceded it and "Alphaville" which came after, this film is a film that can be seen as a sign of the times but still as relevant today.
Although I have not seen every Godard film made let alone any films he released after 1970 but I have seen a good number of his '60s films and I have to say that ""Une femme mariée" is his most erotic film. We see many shots of a naked back, a stomach, thighs as hands are seen caressing a woman's body. Visually poetic, Godard's film uses fade outs instead of his familar jump cuts. We see the negative utilized in Godard's video (which would be explored in "Alphaville") and more.
"Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" revolves around a woman named Charlotte (played by Macha Méril, "Belle de Jour") who is a married but having an affair with theatre actor Robert (played by Bernard Noël, "La Ronde", "Trois Femmes"). She enjoys her time with Robert and loves him.
But she is married to Pierre (played by Philippe Leroy, "Le Trou", "La vita di Leonardo Da Vinci"), a pilot who provides her with what she needs financially, and she also raises her step son with him. Pierre is truly in love with his wife Charlotte, even though he discovered her affair three months earlier to Robert via a private investigator.
For Charlotte, she has balanced her days with Pierre and Robert and for her, she obsesses with what is shown in the women's magazines. Enhancing her breast size, wearing the best panties and bras, she is a very shallow woman.
But she starts to see life differently. When she meets her husband's philosopher friend Roger Leehardt, then seeing how young women discuss their attraction to men and losing their virginity, seeing how women do things to attract men and then trying to find out if she is a pregnant woman. She knows that both men would love to have a baby with her or they say that. But she is undecided on who she wants to be with and thus she interviews her husband and her lover.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" is featured in 1080p AVC encode with the original aspect ratio of 1:37:1 and looks absolutely wonderful in HD. Picture quality for this film is absolutely beautiful. Detail from Méril's eyes and her hair, to the beauty of her skin, this is seen quite beautifully on Blu-ray. No trace of DNR and just an overall magnificent transfer on HD.
Audio is in Dolby Digital 1.0 (LPCM) and presented in French with English subtitles. Audio is clear and understandable, as with the music but for those with a modern home theater receiver, for a more immersive soundtrack, one may want to select stereo on all channels or stay with the monaural soundtrack.
"Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" contains the following special features in 1080i:
* Original Theatrical Trailer - (3:25) The original theatrical trailer in 1080p created and edited by Jean-Luc Godard.
* 80-Page Booklet - A new "overture" by legendary French critic and filmmaker Luc Moullet (Les Contrebandières, A Girl Is a Gun, Les Sièges de l'Alcazar, Le Prestige de la mort). A lengthy roundtable discussion between Luc Moullet; writer/critic and American correspondent for Cahiers du cinéma, Bill Krohn; and MoC's Craig Keller -- on the film, and its relationship to Godard's oeuvre from the 1950s through the 2000s. A concentrated investigation into the film by Bill Krohn. A new statement about the film by star Macha Méril. A transcript of Godard's late-'70s lecture on Une femme mariée, originally presented in Introduction à une véritable histoire du cinéma, translated here into English for the first time. Relevant excerpts from Jean Racine's Bérénice, in the original French, accompanied by a new parallel English translation. And many notes on the film, Godard, and modern DVD production.
"Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" is an interesting film. As mentioned, this is his most erotic film as we see hands caressing Macha Méril's body. Her back, her arms, her thighs, her waist... it's a very creative way of how it was filmed. Focusing on the body parts and showcasing sexuality without having to show its participants full bodies taking part in sex.
Of course, the film is seen differently by many people. For some, this is Godard's life with Anna Karina and his marriage going downhill. Is this why Godard exploring marriage and the obsession of what his hot in pop culture and women's fashion courtesy of advertising and how it corrupts women. While men are not as easily pulled into it but yet they are hooked on the women that do so. Shallowness has been explored in Godard's "2 or 3 Things I Know About Her" and also in "Masculin Feminin". In this case, Charlotte is being told about why they were in Auschwitz, but what happened during WWII is not important as it's passe to her, while a magazine article about breast enlargement is more intriguing. She is not an intellectual, she is a woman of faults and is not afraid to admit it. She is a product of mindless consumerism, a woman who lives for the now and wants to experience for the thrill of what happens "now".
But I enjoyed this film because it was so visually creative. The erotic shots were well-done. Improvisational use of questions being asked a question by Charlotte (which I'm guessing similar to "Masculin Feminin", questions are being told to Macha Méril by Godard) to actor Bernard Noel who is answering as himself but also in character as Robert about if his love for Charlotte is real or is he acting. Even certain mistakes as Charlotte is running and falls flat on the road is kept in the film. This is Godard using spontaneous moments and using it for his film.
As for the Blu-ray release, the fact that EUREKA! ala The Masters of Cinema are releasing the majority of their Blu-rays ala non-region is very important. For one, the main way for people to watch Godard releases were primarily from The Criterion Collection. But here we have The Masters of Cinema releasing a quality product on Blu-ray but also making sure that those who enjoyed those Criterion releases, get the same quality with MoC releases and it's not just for those living in Europe, now all of us all over the world can enjoy this Blu-ray release.
This release of "Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" is simply the best looking version out there and I don't know if we'll get anything that will look this magnificent of the film for a long while. Although, the film does not have any featurettes, for cinemaphiles, the 80-page booklet is just full of content and information about the film. This is a film that many people have wanted released in the US and now it's available. Now hopefully, a company releases Godard's 1967 film "Week End" remastered on Blu-ray or DVD as many have waited years for a release of the film.
Overall, I know I keep saying that nearly every Godard film is a masterpiece. But I do feel that "Une femme mariée: Fragments D'un Film Tourne En 1964 en Noir et Blanc" is indeed a masterpiece and shows that an auteur such as Godard can craft something so quickly and yet making sure the film is witty, humorous and also tragic in some way.
Intriguing Character Study
The Movie Man | Maywood, New Jersey USA | 07/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Une Femme Mariee" follows Charlotte (Macha Meril ("Belle de Jour," "Deep Red") through the course of one day as she learns she is pregnant and is unsure if the father is her possessive, jealous husband (Philippe Leroy, "La Femme Nikita"), who regards her as a trophy wife, or her lover, Robert (Bernard Noel, "La Ronde"), an actor who treats her merely as a sex object. To further complicate matters, Charlotte is besieged by images of the new consumerist society of the 1960's.
Director Jean-Luc Godard was voted the third-greatest filmmaker ever -- behind only Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock -- by the latest "Sight and Sound" poll of the world's leading film critics. "Une Femme Mariee," in French with English subtitles, is a moving portrait of a modern woman fighting back after being reduced to little more than a sexual commodity in this 1964 film."
Obscure Godard should be much better known
Muzzlehatch | the walls of Gormenghast | 12/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've seen a pretty fair chunk of Jean-Luc Godard's 60s output but there are still quite a few to go, mostly because back when I was seriously going through his stuff, there were many that weren't available, including the still-unseen LA CHINOISE, LES CARABINIERS and this film, which comes chronologically between the much better known BANDE à PART and ALPHAVILLE. It just showed up on R1 DVD a few months ago to apparently little interest, if the couple of reviews here are any indication.
I have to say after seeing it, I'm at a loss to see why the film has so much less renown than most of JLG's other work from the period, unless it's that it just isn't very funny. This is a very serious work, and perhaps Godard's most accomplished "feminist" (I use that word advisedly in regard to this director) film from his early period. Sure, he'd dealt with women as protagonists and in terms of their placement in society in VIVRE SA VIE and UNE FEMME EST UNE FEMME, but both of those films are closer to fantasy, and dealing with issues like prostitution, strip tease, etc - and starring Godard's muse of the time, Anna Karina, they read uncomfortably like male fantasy, however much Godard was on some level pretending to say something serious about the "women's issues".
Not so this film, which contrasts the two lives of Charlotte (Macha Méril) - with her lover Robert, a musician (Bernard Noël) and her pilot husband Pierre (Philippe Leroy), with whom she has an adopted son from his first marriage. It opens with a love scene between Charlotte and Robert, but not surprisingly a pretty unconventional one, showing hands, feet, close-ups of eyes and noses, etc - everything eventually except for the naughty bits. Of course one couldn't go very far in 1964 (even in France), but the filming of isolated features has a formal aspect to it that extends throughout the film, as we are shown repeated fragmentary words (a Godard specialty of course, but in this case the words and phrases come from magazines), bits of speech/thoughts isolated from the main "action", and eventually repetitions of the same kind of love scene, with Pierre as the lover this time - though it's a much shorter scene. The music - mostly Beethoven's 9th string quartet - also lends a fragmentary quality to the proceedings, though the mostly static or very slowly-tracked long shots (courtesy of Godard's usual cinematographer Raoul Coutard, at his best here with a spectacular sequence that shifts back and forth between negative and positive images) belie this technique.
Much of the film, then, works in a distancing, isolating way; there are regular film references, song references, but they are almost always very brief, whispers...there's a repeated motif about history also and its importance (or the regularity with which it's forgotten), most notably centered around the Holocaust - which climaxes in Charlotte and Pierre going to see a movie at the airport cinema (can you imagine? And it's got curtains and everything) that they think is going to be a Hitchcock film, but instead ends up being Alain Resnais' NUIT ET BROUILLARD. They leave after a minute or two. There seems to be an underlying notion throughout that those who want to take an intellectual view on things often do for reasons that alienate and keep them apart from others - that in fact help to contribute to an anti-intellectualism and a deliberate shallowness that Godard sees as a very powerful thing even in 1964 Paris. The reasoning that Pierre and Charlotte give to a guest for living in the suburbs is a wonderful bit of rationalizing their bourgeois character, for example.
And the flipside of all the intellectual and philosophical talk is Charlotte, absorbed in beauty and fashion and love and men - but also more honest and, at the end, more self-aware and willing to look outside of herself in life than either of the two men. It's to the credit both of Godard and of Méril's spectacular performance that we can have such conflicted views of her at the end - admire her strength of character, ultimately, and her growing understanding of the situation she's in, but also wonder how we are meant to take her "shallow", "feminine" character. She's certainly much more likeable and probably smarter than either of the two men she's involved with - but are we to take it that superficiality is preferable to pretension? The film is never clear, but it opens up so many possible answers, and further questions that I was left fairly mentally drained. And that's a good thing.
I certainly wouldn't recommend this to those who don't like Godard's style in the first place, and it's not very conventionally "entertaining", but I was definitely enthralled. Pretty close to a masterpiece, certainly as deserving as most other early Godard of being remembered and discussed, and I look forward to getting back to this master again before long."