The Jean-Luc Godard Collection: Volume 2

23/07/2007
  |  Buy to Own: 23/07/2007
  |  444 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Five films by the enfant terrible of modern French cinema, Jean Luc Godard. In 'Pierrot Le Fou' (1968), widely considered to be one of Godard's best, Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) leaves his wife and child and runs off with the babysitter Marianne (Anna Karina). The pair head south to find Marianne's brother, with Ferdinand getting caught up in Marianne's crimes along the way as they both spiral toward destruction. Memorable for Raoul Coutard's deep and lush photography, the film offers a spontaneous musical sequence under the pine trees, elements of the gangster genre and a tragic account of the transience of love, meanwhile Godard also addresses the nature of the film medium itself. 'Une Femme est Une Femme', Godard's deconstruction of the classic MGM musical, was the first of his films to star his then wife Anna Karina. Nightclub stripper Angela (Karina) wants to have a baby but her lover Emile (Jean-Claude Brialy) refuses to co-operate. Angela threatens to get pregnant by the first man that comes along and Emile suggests his friend Alfred (Jean-Paul Belmondo), who is in love with Angela. In the cerebral and experimental political satire 'La Chinoise' (1967), five philosophy students who are ardent supporters of Maoist political doctrine make the decision to mount a terrorist campaign to establish a strictly Maoist communist state. Godard underplays their fanaticism by satirising their petty obsession with all the trappings of their political affiliation, including their love of political posters, their need to each own a copy of Mao's Little Red Book, and their slavish chanting of communist slogans. Godard's controversial spy-romance 'Le Petit Soldat' (1960) was banned from French release for three years after being made on account of its unflinching portrayal of the Franco-Algerian conflict during Algeria's struggle for independence. The film follows Bruno (Michel Subor), a disillusioned young deserter who becomes involved in the French nationalist movement - despite his lack of deep political beliefs. Under orders, he kills an Algerian sympathiser and is then captured and tortured. When he meets and falls in love with a beautiful young woman, Veronika Dreyer (Anna Karina), he does not realise that she is fighting for the other side. The much later comic thriller 'Detective' (1985) is set in an old Parisian hotel populated with extraordinary characters, including the house detective, who is still trying to solve a murder from years before. Nathalie Baye and Claude Brasseur star.