2 or 3 Things I Know About Her

1967 [FRENCH]

Comedy / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 6945

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
October 02, 2021 at 03:33 PM

Cast

Jean-Luc Godard as Narrator
720p.BLU
801.39 MB
1280*544
fre 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 27 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by siriustemplar 9 / 10

A Timeless Work Concerning Commercialism and Urban Inequality (Just Not For the Casual Viewer)

2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle (2 or 3 Things I know About Her) is one of Godard's most fluid and complex narratives, and that is saying much considering the very nature of most of Godard's work. On the surface, the "narrative" (if one were to call it that) concerns a group a middle/upper-middle class Parisian women who prostitute themselves in order to buy consumer goods. Based on a newspaper article Godard read, this "narrative" seems like an interesting point for gender politics.

However, "narrative" or gender politics are really not the point of "2 or 3 Things...". First off, "her" is less a person, but a city- Paris. And it is just not Paris, as in the city of romance and art, but De gaulle's radical transformation of Paris from a pre-war city of antiquity to a modern commercial center. The film is framed around extended shots of constructions sites, developing freeways, and cranes for a reason- to show how this ancient city is being radically transformed with or without the benefit of its citizens. In a way, this film is a meditation on a phenomena spreading around the world from the 1990's to the present (and especially the United States)- urban gentrification. In the push to modernize and beautify a city, the powers that be often step on the majority which make up a city- the lower and middle class. Godard's precise comments on urban planning are 40 years ahead of their time. If anything, "2 or 3 Things..." is far more relevant today than in 1967.

Secondly, the film is an agit-prop protest against crass commercialism and how it defaces and devoids the human experience. The 2 or 3 women in the film (Paris included) are so wrapped up in the base drive for material goods that they forget the very principles of humanity- love, caring for one's family, intellectual desire, and compassion. Godard's definition of consumerism robs a society of its metaphysical compassion and leads intellectual and personal freedom into a locked room. In the age of I-Pods and Paris Hilton, Godard's sharp criticism of crass consumerism is amazingly relevant. It is a wonder that the Adbusters/Culture jam movement have not latched onto this film with a passion.

"2 or 3 Things..." also serves as one of the many watermarks of Godard's highly productive and influential 1960's period- blending the emotions of Contempt or Vivre Sa Vie with the chic radicalism of La Chinoise or Week End. Godard was an artist in constant evolution in the 1960's and "2 or 3 Things..." is one of these many evolutionary steps.

Be forewarned, "2 or 3 Things..." is NOT a good starting point for those new to Godard. It is far too meditative, "slow", and didactic for one to get a true sense of Godard's radical style. I strongly recommend Masculine-Feminine, Contempt, Breathless, Band of Outsiders, or Week End as a better starting point for Godard. A newcomer to Godard's style might be forever turned off by the slow pacing of "2 or 3 Things...". However, after digesting a few of this great film maker's works, line up "2 or 3 Things...". A timeless and extremely relevant film.

Reviewed by rino-5 10 / 10

making sense of the world again

There is something sublime about this film; whether it is the perspective, the idea behind the story (from an article about married women living in the new flat buildings of Paris suburbs taking on part-time prostitution) or the often sublime sequencing of events, there is a continuity of thought at work behind it, the continuity of the artist (as film maker, painter, philosopher) at work. The film has elements of meditation, social comment, and faith which seeks not just to analyse or explain what is is to live in this modern world (since, as Godard observed, living in Paris inevitably involves some form of prostitution) - but to put meaning back into it again, to raise ideas and thought about observing this life, to speculate. So the ideas about a superficial love of products (cars, washing powder, magazine) may seem a little dated and old-school post-modernist for us, but how many directors tackle the questions so openly, artistically and honestly, on a multitude of levels all at once? The film is about Godard's eye and mind of course, secretly feeding dialogue directly to his actress with microfone and earpiece (fulfilling Renoir?), as well as fulfilling a cinematic history of boys filming girls. The coffee cup analogy of consciousness emerging, the car wash scene, the tripartite openness of the film, the perspicacity... there is too much to say about this film. If only there were novelists or writers around who could do the same, with such beauty.

rino breebaart

Reviewed by Chris_Docker 10 / 10

Outstanding

Do you go to the movies expecting to exhilaration, emotion? Maybe this film is not for you. Godard once said, "I don't think you should FEEL about a movie. You should feel about a woman. You can't kiss a movie."

The film does have enough spice to tantalise prurient tastes (middle-class part-time hooker). Yet our storyline is no tempestuous avalanche of excitement crashing to a windswept climax. Godard uses it as an attack on fiction itself. In doing so he questions how we fictionalise our very lives. Buying into lifestyles or accepting dominant themes in merchandising and politics. "Pax Americana: jumbo-sized advertising," as a voice-over proclaims.

Performances are excellent. Cinematography has plenty of Godard's hallmark, arresting features. The film integrates a political kick more successfully than many of his attempts. But the real thrill is an intellectual one. 2 or 3 Things I Know about Her appeals to the philosophically inclined. For this viewer, it is a film to watch and re-watch many times, enjoying the test of ideas. A work of great beauty. It also transports Godard to being more than just a filmmaker.

An exemplary demonstration and examination of Brechtian technique, it is more than a purely cinematic use of Bernold Brecht's 'alienation' effect. Godard uses it to make the viewer examine the nature sensory perception and the almost existential convenience of any definition of truth.

Peter Wollen, in his essay 'Godard and Counter Cinema', described how the director was working towards a political rationale for his attack on fiction. Fiction=mystification=bourgeois ideology. But Wollen acknowledges that initially Godard's fascination is more connected with, "the misleading and dissembling nature of appearances, the impossibility of reading an essence from a phenomenal surface, of seeing a soul through and within a body or telling a lie from a truth."

The basis for all this is a story of Paris – it could be the 'her' of the title. Galloping consumerism. Policies determined by economics, not people. Demolition and construction at an alarming pace. While the ordinary decent person cannot keep up. "If you can't afford LSD buy a colour TV."

Our 'ordinary decent person' is an attractive woman on the balcony of high-rise. Our voice-over describes a few things about her. As she turns her head, he describes her again. Same description. Different name. The first time, the real actress (Marina Vlady). Then she is the character, Juliette Janson. "Her hair is dark auburn or light brown," says the voice-over, "I'm not sure."

The voice-over (Godard himself in a conspiratorial whisper) switches back and forth between politics and Juliette's situation, leaving us in no doubt over parallels. The two are then linked diegetically: "The government is disrupting the nation's economy, not to mention its basic moral fibre."

Johnson's futile bombing campaigns in the Vietnam also come under attack. One of Juliette's clients is a war reporter. She does a 'double / all-nighter' with her colleague Marianne which includes parading naked with flight bags over their heads. We are treated to intercut pictures of napalmed victims.

Although it is one of Godard's cleverest and most rounded attacks on capitalism, the film comes into its own as he questions the nature of reality, neatly linked up using gender politics. "What is language, Mummy," asks Juliette's youngster. "Language is the house man lives in," she answers. Examples of male-dominated language pervade the film, from street hoardings to bright signage (both used as intertitles).

Language is not 'objective' and defines how we view things rather than just what they 'are'. Juliette's husband is proud of how clever she is, finding a car at a 'bargain' price. She doesn't reveal to him how she is helping things along.

Juliette is objectivised, both in the story – with our conscious collusion – and by her habit of turning to the camera to address us directly as Vlady, the actress commenting on the character, speaking about her and through her.

Yet Godard attempts to rise above male-orientated perception. "Should I have talked about Juliette or the leaves . . . since it's impossible to do both at once?" Perhaps our use of language extends to our thinking, where it can be equally subverted. "Now I understand the thought process," says Juliette, "It's substituting an effort of the imagination for an examination of real objects." A more precise definition is developing. What is an object? It is something we pass from subject to subject to allow us to live together. Arbitrary agreements, a language, an arbitrary 'reality.'

But it is not all dour. Take love. "True love changes you, false love leaves you as you are." Juliette seems unaffected by her double life as a hooker. She applies garish red lipstick before servicing a client. (But her studied indifference would tend to make her, one must assume, a rather unappealing prostitute in real life.) And as Godard lifts our spirits more with thoughts of leaves and children than of the depredation he has critiqued, we are lifted to savour the divine inspiration of a seeker after truth. "One must always be sensitive to the intoxication of life." He says. Which can be taken both ways. Both the leaves and Juliette, "trembled slightly."

A particularly beautiful sequence is when Juliette says, "You can describe what happens when I do something without necessarily indicating what makes me do it." She sheds a tear. "This is how, 150 frames later . . .."

2 or 3 Things I Know about Her also contains perhaps the most legendary close-up of a cup of coffee ever made. Foamy swirls appear only to disappear again. Visual metaphor appearing and dissolving.

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