May 30, 2003

Anna Karina Winks

There's something comforting to this Cinecultist to know that New York contains more people besides CC and friend, E, who would attend a screening of Jean-Luc Godard's A Woman Is A Woman on a Thursday night. Actually, the theater was packed, although the really big line snaking around Film Forum was for Spellbound.

CC's been a little self conscious about her art house film watching after seeing Cinemania last week, so it was nice to run into E at the theater. Somehow knowing other (seemingly) sane people who find the thought of Anna Karina on screen lure enough on a Thursday night rationalizes CC's fandom.

Something new CC learned recently which influenced the viewing this time: when Godard started out he was quite the MacMahonist. According to J. Hoberman's Midnight Movies book, the MacMahonists were '60s French cinema cultists just like the Bazin disciples at Cahiers du Cinema but they were a bit sexist, to say the least. Godard actually wanted Jean Seberg to pick Jean-Paul Belmondo's pocket after she turned him into the police at the end of Breathless.

Watching A Woman Is A Woman, you could see how Godard might not have the best opinion of women with Anna Karina harping on her husband to get her pregnant then cheating on him with Jean-Paul. Yet, Anna Karina's complete charm and effervescience wins out over any trace of misogyny. Her final wink to the camera is so lacking in malice, we can't help but fall for her. How could Godard hate women when Anna's in the world as our representative?

Posted by karen at May 30, 2003 1:32 PM