A Woman Is a Woman

Godard's third feature was conceived “within the framework of a neorealist musical,” with nods to René Clair and Ernst Lubitsch. Anna Karina is Angela, an occasional stripper in a shabby club called the Zodiac. She is determined to have a baby and soon; when her lover Emile (Jean-Claude Brialy) won't, she turns to his friend Alfred Lubitsch (Jean-Paul Belmondo), who will. Angela is a veritable White Rabbit, rushing around Paris with nowhere in particular to go, but always late; wanting “both”-and to be both-of everything at the same time. A drôle de fille in the screwball comedy mold is Angela. There is magic in this film, from actual hat tricks to the famous egg-frying gag to the mesmerizing traveling shots. Godard's sense of woman-as-mystery is a part of that magic (even the title throws up its hands). The guy can't help it.

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