Une Femme Mariée: Suite De Fragments D’un Film Eourné En 1964
(A Married Woman)
Godard does his biggest flip in style in his next film A Married Woman (1964). After all the freewheeling and cheerfulness of Band of Outsiders, Godard pulls of an intense drama whose typically French texture can make many rave about it on and on. Although a decided anomaly in Godard’s body of work during this period, A Married Woman still handles issues that had Godard going for it in the later part of his career.
Godard takes up the classic triangle love story and distorts it to fit his needs, as usual. It isn’t the men who are both trying for the woman, but it is the troubled central female who seems unable to decide between two men. She is treated like an object by both men, but in different ways. She, perhaps representing the entire Parisian women, is commodified by the endlessly long list of capitalistic companies with their products that implicitly try to “synthesize” the perfect woman. What’s worse is that the entire society aids it by conforming to their standard of the perfect woman. Coutard captures the leading lady Macha Méril seamlessly making her look like a soap bar or a piece of apparel displayed on a shop window, all prepped up for sale.
A Married Woman is one of the very few Godard films that prompt a character analysis in the traditional sense of the terminology. Though Godard’s characters are meant to be thought over and the on screen events they indulge in are meant to be detachedly brooded upon, there were never conventional dominator-dominated and victor-vanquished relationships. But A Married Woman is so character-driven that the film can well pass off as an Antonioni film. But that doesn’t mean that it is totally un-Godardian. You have all the typical on-the-screen text, intertitles and even the “negativized” sequences that would sprout up again later in Alphaville.