Masculine Feminine

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(Masculin Féminin). A film about "the children of Marx and Coca–Cola" by the child of Brecht and Hollywood. Godard takes an anti–narrative, essay–like approach to a love story; this is Pierrot le fou facing reality. Paul (Jean–Pierre Léaud), fresh out of the army and fatigued, sets about trying to find la tendresse among the young set in Paris. He falls in love with Madeleine (Chantal Goya), an aspiring yé–yé singer, but for her, passion doesn't compute, and Paul's Hollywood–style romancing doesn't help. Paul works on behalf of political causes (to which Madeleine and her friends are oblivious), and takes a magazine job interviewing Parisians (also oblivious). That's the story, but it is told rather like a highbrow comic book, a pastiche of skits and journalistic bits, encounters and opinion polls, an introduction to the omnipresence and omnipotence of media. Godard announces it as "fifteen precise actions" but it is the dance between precision and improvisation that makes it a film of great and surprising beauty.

Masculine Feminine is repeated on Saturday, June 4.

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