- Masculin, féminin
name = Masculin, féminin
imdb_id = 0060675
amg_id = 1:31670
Guy de Maupassant
Jean-Pierre Léaud Chantal Goya Marlène Jobert Michel Debord
producer = Anatole Dauman
cinematography = Willy Kurant
Columbia Films S.A.
runtime = 103 min.
language = French
"Masculin, féminin" is a low-budget, black and white
filmdirected by Jean-Luc Godardand released in 1966.
The film stars
French New Waveicon Jean-Pierre Léaudas Paul, a romantic young idealist and literary lion-wannabe who chases budding pop star, Madeleine ( Chantal Goya, a real life Yé-yégirl). Despite markedly different musical tastes and political leanings, the two soon become romantically involved and begin a "ménage à quatre" with Madeleine’s two roommates, Catherine ( Catherine-Isabelle Duport) and Elisabeth ( Marlène Jobert).
Ostensibly basing his film on two stories by
Guy de Maupassant, Godard mixes off-the-cuff reportage and mise en scèneto create a strikingly honest portrait of youth and sex (in France, the movie was prohibited to persons under 18 — “the very audience it was meant for,” griped Godard [ [http://www.rialtopictures.com/FTP/ZIP_masculine/GodardonMF.pdf Godard on "Masculine Feminine"] ] — while the Berlin Film Festivalnamed it the year’s best film for young people), with Godard’s camera probing his young actors in a series of vérité-style interviews about love, love-making, and politics.
More than any other film of Godard’s heyday "Masculin, féminin" is a time capsule of France and
Parisin the 1960s, with references to everyone from Charles de Gaulleand André Malrauxto James Bondand Bob Dylan, and — true to the Godard style — filled with jokes, puns and non-sequiturs, the story repeatedly interrupted by seemingly extraneous incidents: a woman blows away her husband; a scene paraphrased from LeRoi Jones’ Dutchman; Brigitte Bardotrehearsing the lines of a play in a bistro; a Swedish sex-cum-art-film-within-a-film, with Léaud stalking off just when things get hot on-screen — going outside to climb the external stairs that lead to the projectionist, where he delivers a lecture on aspect ratio; a pinball arcade where an armed thug gives Léaud a choice between life and death, and surprises the audience with a third alternative; spray-painting anti-war slogans on walls, and more.
The most famous quote from the film is actually an intertitle between chapters: "This film could be called The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola."
Cinema of France
List of French language films
*imdb title|id=0060675|title=Masculin, féminin
* [http://www.criterion.com/asp/release.asp?id=308&eid=434§ion=essay Criterion Collection essay by Adrian Martin]
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