Saturday, June 13, 2015

Film Capsule: Jean-Luc Godard's Every Man for Himself (1980)


Every Man for Himself (1980)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Released in 1980, the French iconoclast’s “second first film” ably fulfilled the promise of such a proclamation, returning the filmmaker to the realm of narrative cinema after a decade-plus exploring avant-garde video and activist art. But it also announced a newly liberated approach to narrative influenced by the interceding years of experimentation. Told in three chapters, the narrative initially follows frustrated television director Paul Godard (Jacques Dutronc), caught between an ex-wife and an estranged girlfriend, as he halfheartedly attempts to connect with his teenage daughter. Meanwhile, Paul’s fling with a prostitute (Isabelle Huppert) prompts a shift in perspective for both the character and the film, conceding the discreet trials of Paul’s domestic life for a more troubling look at intimacy. By some measure Godard’s most severe dissection of sexual politics and social expectations, as well as one of his most self-effacing works, this nominal return to commercialism is a radical statement all its own. (June 16, 4pm, 7:30pm at FIAF’s retrospective of screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière) [The L]

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