Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 14th, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: France, March 17th, 1967
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Writers: Jean-Luc Godard, Catherine Vimenet
Cast: Joseph Gehrard, Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey, Roger Montsoret, Raoul Lévy
DVD released: March 14th, 2004
Approximate running time: 84 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono French
DVD Release: Nouveaux Pictures
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: $31.95
"Up to now — since shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution — most movie makers have been assuming that they know how to make movies. Just like a bad writer doesn’t ask himself if he’s really capable of writing a novel — he thinks he knows. If movie makers were building airplanes, there would be an accident every time one took off. But in the movies, these accidents are called Oscars." – Jean-Luc Godard
Juliette Jeanson (Marina Vlady) is a bored house wife whose husband is more interested in listening to the Vietnam War on his mini radio. Unsatisfied with her daily routine at home she expands her horizons working in central Paris one day a week as a prostitute. Is this really just a temporary situation for Juliette or will she soon realize her mistake?
Jean-Luc Godard never a liked to repeat himself as a filmmaker and with his film, Two or Three Things I Know About Her he continued too explore a more abstract narrative/structure in the themes of his films. The film opens with the camera asking the lead actress her name before repeating the same question she was just asked and now she replies to them in the character of Juliette. Also many times during the film the actors and actresses look directly into the camera and address the audience. While this may seem common place in today’s cinema back in the mid-1960’s this kind of breaking the fourth wall and interacting with the audience was unheard of. Two or Three Things I Know About Her is a far cry from Contempt the first Godard film that I ever had the pleasure to watch and yet it does bare a few similarities most notably his use of the widescreen frame. Godard just doesn’t place an actor with in the frame. He carefully creates compositions like Leonardo De Vinci paints masterpieces on a canvas.
Godard even makes an appearance in Two or Three Things I Know About Her as the films cynical narrator who warns the viewer about the Government, Consumerism and Capitalism. The main focus of the film is the character of Juliette as we spend a day in her life as she travels the streets of Paris. This film is almost devoid of any music which is an important part of most of Godard’s films. Instead Godard focuses more on language as the cast recite the heavy handed dialog is the films most powerful asset. This film wouldn’t be a Godard film without symbolic imagery and subliminal like editing. Godard clearly mixes products we are often bombarded with by advertisers with graphic images of the social injustices from the Vietnam War. One of the films weaknesses is that we never fully get to know any of the characters as they are portrayed in a cold impersonal way which also helps underscore Godard’s theme of isolation which is present through out. Even though Godard’s Two or Three Things I Know About Her is one of his least accessible films it is still one of his most important films of his career.
Nouveaux Pictures presents Two or Three Things I Know About Her in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The colors look lucid as they perfectly capture the late 1960’s décor and flesh tones look healthy. Black levels remain constant through out with an exceptional amount of detail present in every frame. There are no problems with edge enhancement or compression. Overall Nouveaux Pictures has done an amazing job restoring the picture for this DVD release and my only minor complaint about this transfer would be that grain at times is excessive.
Only one audio option has been included for this release the films original French language track which is presented in its original Dolby Digital mono audio mix. This film is primarily dialog driven and dialog comes through cleanly at all times. There are no problems with distortions or other sound defects. English subtitles which are easy to follow and understand have been included.
Even though Nouveaux Pictures went the extra mile in restore the audio/video for this DVD release they have slighted this title in the extras department. This DVD comes with two extras a picture gallery with 10 photos and a small pockets size paperback “Key Scenes and Dialogue’ which contains dialog from some of Godard’s films it also comes with background info on the three films contained with in the book as well as Godard’s filmography. If you are already a fan of Jean-Luc Godard’s then you should enjoy Two or Three Things I Know About Her and for those uninitiated into the world of Godard I recommend you check out some of his earlier more accessible films first.
Note: Even though the box art says original aspect ratio 1.33:1 the film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio.