Telling the story of a French deserter who joins a Swiss far-right group, from which he later tries to flee for the love of a woman, Le petit soldat was one of Godard’s most controversial films, accused at the time of “fascism” by part of the official left and banned in France for three years, for the many allusions to the Algerian War, then at its peak. It is also the film of Godard’s first encounter with Anna Karina, who every time she enters the scene steals all the light around her. And the film of the celebrated aphorism that comes from a speech about photography, cinema and the truth: “”Photography is truth. Cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.” (Cinemateca Portuguesa)
Bande à part (Godard’s seventh feature film) was made during the period in which the director most questioned and reinvented cinema. Film characters in a relentlessly real world or real characters in a film world? A dense and intense film, one of the great moments of modern cinema. And the film where we learned that one can run through the Louvre in a lightning foray of nine minutes and forty-three seconds. (Cinemateca Portuguesa)
With a stunning black and white photograph by Raoul Coutard, Vivre sa vie is a film built for Anna Karina, which shows that besides being an icon of the Nouvelle Vague, she is a fabulous actress. Very few faces would pass unhindered in comparison to Falconetti in Dreyer’s Jeanne d’Arc (a film that Karina’s character will see, in a sequence of Vivre sa vie), also a sign of Godard’s genius and boldness. Godard in honor of Dreyer. Karina’s close ups in front of Falconetti’s close ups. (Cinemateca Portuguesa)
Godard’s second film commercially released (given the censorship imposed on Le petit soldat), Une femme est une femme is a tribute to the American musical and a distant echo of Design for Living by Ernst Lubitsch (1932), filmed in CinemaScope and in sumptuous colors. Awarded at the Berlin Film Festival for having “shaken the rules of film comedy,” it is a film of extreme lightness and elegance, in which Anna Karina has one of her best appearances. Anna is Angela, a cabaret dancer who thinks about motherhood, while she agrees and disagrees with her husband and his friend, with whom she stages a love triangle. “Une femme” / “infamous.” (Cinemateca Portuguesa)
Godard’s most famous film, “a sublime beauty” in the words of Louis Aragon, continues to enthuse the new generations who discover it. Pierrot and Marianne suddenly leave Paris and drive through the roads of France, “living dangerously to the end.” They love and kill (themselves), but mainly they reject civilization as the petty bourgeoisie conceives it, living the moment. Raoul Coutard’s color cinematography is a true compendium of the many aesthetic trends of the sixties. And it is here that Godard films Fuller affirming that “cinema is like a battlefield. Love. Hate. Action. Violence. Death. In a word: emotion.” (Cinemateca Portuguesa)
A Godard influenced by the “secret agents” and the Ben Barka affair, with Anna Karina as a young woman who seeks revenge for her boyfriend, a journalist murdered in a provincial city, for having a dangerous secret. “One of the wonderful things about Made in USA is that Godard has integrated a political (or about politics) discourse of a rather ‘realistic’ context into a sort of allegory that is not far from science fiction” (Luís Miguel Oliveira). It is the last feature film Godard and Karina did together. (Cinemateca Portuguesa)
Demetrius has just arrived on Earth from another galaxy. But the girl brought to him by the commissar, Hostess 703, is not a “physical love” girl; she’s a “sentimental love” one, who only knows how to excite men with language.
Homage to noir, work of science fiction and political fiction. It is, as the full title indicates “a strange adventure of Lemmy Caution”. Secret agent Lemmy Caution goes to the city of Alphaville, where all feelings have been abolished and no one is able to perceive poetry, to try to convince a scientist to return to the “outer planets.” This parable on the future society was entirely filmed in natural settings in and around Paris. Anna Karina opposite Eddie Constantine in a plot “of adventure and love”, “death and mystery” that the characters cross between the meshes of a technocratic dictatorship. (Cinemateca Portuguesa)
Jean-Luc Godard’s cinema comeback after almost ten years of abstinence is a strangely grotesque, ironic and bitter dance of love. Denise (Nathalie Baye) gives up her job in television for a life in the country. Her boyfriend Paul (Jacques Dutronc) doesn’t want to leave the city but nor does he want Denise to leave him. Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert) moves from the country to the city to sell her body. Their paths cross and a loose web of relations develops between the characters, whereby the plot (or non-plot) revolves around the concepts of “the imaginary”, “fear”, “trade” and “music”. Adopting his usual socio-critical approach, Godard surprises the viewer with his wild and enigmatic images.