I haven’t seen many French films but ‘A Woman is a Woman(UNE FEMME EST UNE FEMME )’ directed by Jean-Luc Godard became one of my rememberable films. At the end, I thought it was a bit strange but such a charming film because of its content, about a woman, the attractive performance of Anna Karina, use of colour, and its musical-like effects. It reminds me of a French film, Amelie directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Both films have similar features such as importance of the main actress, use of vivid colour in fashion and interior, use of sound effect, and comfortable tempo of conversation. I think that is because the director of Amelie had rather influenced by A Woman is a Woman. The scenes from both films that the character suddenly speaks to us, the people watching the film in front of screen, overlap with each other.
However how charming the film is, it is not just that. What was so unusual from others was that there are lots of ‘twos’, conflicting pairs in this film. In a book ‘Speaking about Godard’, a philosopher and film analyst Gilles Deleuze points out Godard as, ”What counts with him is not two or three, or however many you like, it’s AND, the conjunction AND… The And is neither the one or the other, it is always between the two, it is the boundary… Godard’s aim is to ‘see the boundaries’ …to make the imperceptible visible.” Here are a few pairs that organize this film: male and female, yes and no, sound and image, musical and film, stillness and movement, comedy and tragedy. Beside the story of the film, most of the pairs are results of using many techniques in one time. Voice narration was used to describe character’s thought in Amelie within rhythmic dialogue, the fine tempo of talk is also one of the attraction but it was text narration that described thought in A Woman is a Woman. The scene that text appeared letter by letter toward Emile and then went back to Angela told that they love each other, it was almost like a well-designed graphic piece. Text was used when they didn’t want to talk and decided to talk by titles of books and also at the very end of the film, an electric message said ‘end’ when Angela closed curtain like an end of Broadway musical. It is not really a musical film(they didn’t sing during conversations) but it used musical-like music and sound effects directed by Michel Legrand that expressed characters’ feeling and atmosphere of the moment very well. With sounds, a variety of camerawork is used such as sometimes it is continuous cut from wide angle and sometimes it is a fragment of close image.
This film attracts and interests me visually with its remarkable sense of using colours and text and also by its challenge to explore harmony of opposite elements together using different film techniques. It pushes me to challenge myself to try these found skills in my execution to find a new harmony.