However I actually want you to watch after reading this to see if I’m bugging out, because no one seems to be mentioning the things I’m searching for. A cinema nerd, an art fanatic in general, I often research articles after finishing a book, or film. I spent the better part of an hour doing the same for Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpiece Masculin Féminin, brilliant, fortifying my belief that French New Wave is the best.
The premise of the movie being Paul, the protagonist, is about to turn 21. After serving time in the army he’s trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life. He meets Madeline, a budding chantress, falls in love, moves in with her, Elisabeth, and Catherine-Isabelle, colocs. Now while the latter is secretly in love with him, the former seems to be having an affair with Madeline. Therein lies the confusion for Madeline from what I saw. Except no one even references it. Am I nuts?
Elisabeth and Madeline’s romance is alluded to multiple times, explaining her hostility towards Paul and possessiveness of Madeline:
-When they are waiting on Madeline for lunch, Paul informs Elisabeth that the aforementioned party is pregnant. Elisabeth gets angry, telling Paul he doesn’t know Madeline like she does, that she’s lying to him. The viewer is left dubious, as Madeline starts the film admitting she lies to him. Paul gets angry and asks her, “What’s it to you?,” several times while banging on the table. Probably the only time you see him vexed. Elisabeth doesn’t answer.
In the same scene when Madeline does arrive, she empties the rest of the wine into Paul’s glass, but pours half of Elisabeth’s cup into her own to share. Intimate. Then when Paul is lost in his whistling of Bach, eyes closed, immersed in sonic memories, Elisabeth strokes Madeline sexually. After getting angry with Paul for touching Madeline’s chest to feel her heartbeat. Madeline herself telling her not to get jealous, he has a right.
Tracing her face with her finger tips twice, they stop when Paul opens his eyes. Dramatic irony. The viewer knows something a character doesn’t. Shakespeare’s forte.
– When they go to an erotic movie, Elisabeth makes sure to sit next to Madeline, who leaves a space for Paul on the other side. Seeing this Paul sits next to Catherine-Isabelle instead. Madeline makes Catherine-Isabelle switch with her, upsetting Elisabeth who was practically necking her before Madeline confesses her love for Paul, to Paul.
-Finally, in the last scene the audience finds out Paul dies, mysteriously falling from his new apartment window. Elisabeth and Madeline went to see it, because no one believed him. When Madeline wanted to move Elisabeth in with them he objected, then met his end.
The police question Madeline and Catherine-Isabelle, was it suicide, an accident, or murder? I figured Elisabeth was missing from the interrogation as she was a suspect, since they got into an argument about her moving in. Also she told Madeline to abort the child with a coat hanger. Yet still, absolutely no one mentions this relationship regarding the movie. Which is crazy. Leaving me to wonder why? It’s essential to plot, yet everyone talks about Catherine-Isabelle’s unrequited love for Paul. Did the allusions go over everyone’s head? Am I making it up, or am I just super nerdy and observant (I was a film minor, a focal point of my relationship with Serge Becker, read: Who Is Serge Becker? )?
You watch and tell me. I’ll probably write more on this film, it’s so damn good. There’s so much to discuss. Godard also wrote the amazing script. Urgh, a fucking legend. Three panoramic shots left me breathless (pun intended). I ceased to breathe, memorized, replaying them over and over again. Can you guess which three? Are you going to watch? Did you see what I saw too? Via: Serendipity.TD