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Une femme mariée

(A Married Woman)
France 1964. Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Cast: Macha Méril, Bernard Noël, Philippe Leroy, Roger Leenhardt, Christophe Bourseiller

Subtitled “Fragments of a film shot in 1964,” Godard's Une femme mariée is a high-style, free-form exercise in the sociology of contemporary womanhood, centring on 24 hours in the life of adulterous Charlotte (Macha Méril), a Parisian woman who divides her affections between her airline-pilot husband (Philippe Leroy) and her lover (Bernard Noël). Charlotte learns that she is pregnant, and realizes she does not know who the father is. Godard dissects her situation with a dazzling collage of pop-art graphics, mock-ethnographic interviews, eroticism, dissertations on advertising and consumerism, women's magazines (“How to Strip for Your Husband”), and a characteristic wealth of references and allusions (Hitchcock, Beethoven, Cocteau, Apollinaire). The film’s portrait of French womanhood — and of marriage as legalized prostitution — outraged French censors, who demanded (and received) cuts to the film and forced its title to be changed from the general (La femme mariée) to the particular (Une femme mariée). “A tour de force ... A shimmering network of inferences ... A passionate essay about women, men, and the culture of sex” (James Monaco). B&W, Blu-ray Disc, in French with English subtitles. 95 mins.

 

REVIEWS

"This is still Godard's view of life in France in 1964, and one of his most sociological films, as well as one of his most formally accomplished."

Chicago Reader | full review

"A fast, sharp, realistic camera and a sardonic musical score assist the unusual exposition of Mr. Godard's most interesting film."

New York Times | full review