The Bottom Line
Godard's 1966 examination of Parisian youth cutlure combines freewheeling fun with sudden tragedy. A puzzling, thrilling experiment that stays fascinating to its shocking ending.
- One of the most adventurous and accessable films of the French New Wave
- Jean-Pierre Leaud ("The 400 Blows") loiters around Parisian cafes and talks about philosophy
- Unaffected performances add to the spontaneous feel of the film
- Godard breaks the rules of filmmaking with mischievous confidence
- Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. France, 1966. 105 minutes. B&W.
- Exclusive new video interviews Chantal Goya, Willy Kurant, and Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin
- Theatrical trailer for the 2005 rerelease
- New essay by film scholar Adrian Martin
Guide Review - Masculin Féminin Criterion Collection DVD
There are two kinds of film fans: those who wouldn't mind spending hours loitering at a cafe with Jean-Pierre Leaud, talking about politics, philosophy, sex, and love, and those who would prefer more of a narrative with their French film. Both should find plenty to love in Godard's frank exploration of what it meant to be young in the Paris of the Sixties. There is a story to the 15 chapters of "Masculin Féminin," but you have to work to extract it from the strange digressions and surprising asides. The war in Vietnam, the pill, worker's rights, and random urban violence interfere with Paul's (Leaud) love for aspiring pop singer Madeleine (Chantal Goya.)