revisiting indiana jones and the last crusade (steven spielberg, 1989) with the grandson
geezer cinema: the villainess (jung byung-gil, 2017)

2 or 3 things i know about her (jean-luc godard, 1967)

My 11th Godard film, although my Godardness is more spare than that would suggest. He released a lot of movies in 1967 ... three features and two short contributions to anthologies, plus he shot 2 or 3 Things simultaneously with Made in U.S.A., released in 1966. This culminated in Weekend, which is where my chronological experience with Godard ends. Weekend famously ends with the title card "The End ... of Cinema".

The last time I made a "Best Directors" list, I had Godard at #11. (Many years ago, I listed Breathless as the 13th-greatest film of all time.) Given that he lived until last September, that he made at least 30 features after 1967, my neglect of his post-Weekend career is hard to explain, and it's all on me. Yes, there are some who break Godard's career into parts, much as I have done, but I have been negligent, and have only myself to blame. Oddly, although I only just watched it for the first time, 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her may offer some insights into why I quit watching his films.

Wikipedia claims of Godard's work in the French New Wave, "Although Godard's work during this time is considered groundbreaking in its own right, the period stands in contrast to that which immediately followed it, during which Godard ideologically denounced much of cinema's history as bourgeois and therefore without merit." Honestly, you'd think all of this would only encourage me to embrace those films, and I tell myself regularly that I should do so. But instead, deciding to watch a Godard film, I choose one I hadn't yet seen, from 1967.

I'm indulging in digressions, which is appropriate ... 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her is full of them. Godard's own quiet narration underpins much of what we see ... he comments on his own movie as it is happening. The Brechtian distancing is never far from our attention. When we meet the main character, the narration informs us, "She is Marina Vlady. She is an actress. She's wearing a midnight-blue sweater with two yellow stripes. She is of Russian origin. She has dark chestnut or light brown hair. I'm not sure which." After which the narrator continues, "She is Juliette Janson. She lives here. She's wearing a midnight-blue sweater with two yellow stripes. She has dark chestnut or light brown hair. I'm not sure which. She's of Russian origin." Actors/characters regularly look at the camera when speaking, and it's not always clear if they are speaking to another character, the narrator, or the audience.

There are other ways Godard distracts us. Several times, background characters play pinball machines, including one long scene when the sound of the machine is constantly vying with the dialogue we are trying to hear.

2 of 3 Things I Know About Her is frustrating, intentionally so. It isn't as "friendly" as some of the Godard I prefer (besides Breathless, there's Masculin Féminin, Weekend, and especially Vivre Sa Vie), and there isn't anything as charming as the dance scene in Band of Outsiders. The film hints at that end of cinema Godard declares at the end of Weekend. #284 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of all time.


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