Masculin Feminin - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Masculin Feminin Reviews

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½ November 7, 2016
Typical Godard, and yet not as frustratingly pointless as others. It was good fun to watch.
August 24, 2016
romance blossoms betwixt a pop singer & journalist by French new wave master jean-luc godard
January 23, 2016
Not one of Godard's better structured films (the narrative is loose even by his standards), but it's one of his most rich in terms of ideas.
July 22, 2015
Mood-making and movie-shaking reach a meta peak in Jean Luc Godard's foolproof film classic.
Innovative in both style and form, Godard's film captures sexualised 60s youth with unabashed audacity, offering a viewing experience equally sexy and sincere as it is funny and freewheeling.
The great New Wave director is often credited for developments in shot technique, but Masculin Feminin is so much more: it's shot technique, sound technique, storytelling technique and, above all else, style technique, all in sumptuous harmony. Godard's influence has been rippling its way through not just cinema, but through all popular culture ever since.
July 14, 2015
Or, the Children of Marx and Coca Cola. A series of vignettes following the young romances of two men and women in France during the 60's, with a rather sad conclusion. The boys are painfully awkward- their conversations veer between sex and earnest politics (a bit like Rick from the Young Ones!) but the women shine here- far more confident, mature and in control. Chantal Goya in particular illuminates every scene she is in. Not quite as Uber-cool as Bande Apart- this is only my third Godard film and I need to do something about that!- but a classic snapshot of the era that left me wondering if much has actually changed over the last 50 years.
June 2, 2015
"We are the children of Marx and Coca-Cola," a character remarks in "Masculin Féminin". This isn't the character's sentiment, per se; it is, in actuality, the sentiment of Jean-Luc Godard, and he doesn't want to mention it passively. It is as though he wants the quote to be stamped on his grave, to be lauded as a visionary for generations to come. So who woulda thought that, nearly fifty years later, the children of those children's children would be the children of Tumblr and Starbucks, more likely to wonder aloud who the hell Marx is and why one should drink Coca-Cola when a five-dollar "coffee" awaits a few blocks down the road.
Godard's attitudes have, of course, dated over the course of a half-century - but the way he expresses them, the way he captures 1960s youth, have not. To be a successful Godard film is certainly not an easy thing. A director who can hardly suppress his love for bizarre sound manipulations ("Masculin Féminin" itself is often soundtracked by a single, cartoonish gun shot that seemingly comes out of nowhere) and teleprompter-ready intellectual speak, it doesn't take much for a Godard film to go from zero to insufferably pretentious miles-per-hour in an instant.
But most of the time, Godard keeps the politically/intellectually minded atmosphere humorous and engaging, even if you can't quite put your finger on why watching Jean-Pierre Léaud dive into a radically liberal speech is entrancing. The kiddos of "Masculin Féminin", all in their late-teens/early 20s, spend most of their time smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee in stylish cafés around the city, delighting each other in their oh-so-adult conversations and escaping in movies they know they're smarter than. All attractive, all high in their hopes, all avant-garde, they regard sex as a breezy pastime, responsibilities as a chore they can save for later. They act worldly, name-dropping Sartre whenever the time comes, but heaven knows they would be much more content swimming in each other's cerebral coolness than actually do something with their lives. Leading lady Chantal Goya, who portrays the ambitious Madeline Zimmer, wants to become a yé-yé singer - but does she know that Sylvie Vartan and Françoise Hardy were one-in-a-million chanteuses hard to recreate?
"Masculin Féminin" is about everything while also being about nothing. It covers just about every topic found in the mind of a '60s dwelling youth, but it knows that these are just fleeting thoughts, especially when considering most of the stuff happening internationally is the responsibility of the leader of the free world (whoever that is, a character might accidentally grunt). A café is perched just a block down the street and, last time I checked, I wasn't the leader of the free world.
The film doesn't take itself seriously, and its actors are likable; New Wave staple Léaud is always so fascinating to watch (don't ask me why), and Goya, looking like a typical Anna Karina-type, enchants with her childlike smile and jet-black, Anna Wintour reminiscent bob. "Masculin Féminin" is Godard at his most focused, his most audience oriented - it is a pleasure from start to finish, even if we don't quite have a grip on what we just watched.
May 5, 2015
Here are two or three things i know about Jean-Luc Godard: i don't get it, i don't get it, and i don't get it. His actors definitely have a certain je-ne-sais-quoi -- some of the least unenjoyable scenes in the movie are the ones when people are just talking to each other (usually about nonsense). But i can't handle the terrible production values -- okay, i guess low budget in 1966 doesn't mean the same thing as low budget today, but the source sound is terrible, and the editing seems tossed off sometimes. He has three films in the Sight & Sound Top 50, and i haven't seen any of them yet -- maybe they will eventually help me understand why this guy is important...
½ February 22, 2015
It's a look into the mindset of 60s French youth, trying to figure out where to stand on sex, socialism, birth control, Vietnam, and American capitalism.
February 1, 2015
I loved the look and feel of the movie though my brain hurt after 1 hour and 44 minutes of philosophical, political, social commentary that haphazardly moves from here to there.
½ September 27, 2014
Maybe it was because the opinions bluntly expressed in this film were not in alignment with my own, but the whole thing had a grace and subtlety of a thirteen year-old, rebellious teenage boy who had gotten ahold of a second-hand philosophy textbook. It was so in your face with characters that just said whatever was on their mind, and most of the time that was sex.
September 8, 2014
Very artsy and interesting in design. I wasn't a fan of the narrative so much as the efforts in place to deconstruct standard film style.The audio was real so there were traffic sounds and other conversations in the background to speak over. It was crazy to think about the clear and unrealistic audio we hear in modern films! The story skips around, but remains in chronological order, interspersed with quotes in interstitial frames. Scenes will focus on one person for 30-40 seconds as they engage in a conversation, giving the impression of seeing it from one's own eyes, even if it is unsettling not seeing the person asking the questions! The music was pretty catchy, when it had a chance to play for more than a few seconds. My rating is based on its importance to cinema as an art and not its entertainment value.I prefer some of the other Godard/Karina collabs.
½ July 27, 2014
The Frenchest Frenchness ever Frenched? Amid the chain-smoking, the socialist rants, the gratuitous yet irresistible shots of 1965 Paris...
You know, I say this a lot, but this film really captures the zeitgeist. This is France in 1965, the youth, the feeling...the closest thing to being there.
And, of course, being Godard in his prime, it's wildly creative, topical, witty and whimsical. Un charme.
½ July 26, 2014
My fav. Godard film. It has a vitality and brashness that still excites. Just cool, that's all. A lot of people whose opinions I respect hate Godard, and I think that's because he's been so imitated by so many for so long, it's nearly impossible to comprehend his artistic contributions as anything 'new'. A viewer of classic works from the past should practice placing themselves in the historical context in which the film was created. Difficult but more rewarding.
½ January 30, 2014
Quirky Godard. 1960s France.
December 19, 2013
(Review Soon) Tied with "Pierrot le Fou" for my favourite Godard movie.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2013
Masculin Feminin isn't nearly as simple or straightforward as one would expect, but despite the occasional unnecessary scene, it's a fun, satirical, and insightful look at the "children of Marx and Coca-Cola", or teenagers in the sixties. The dialogue between Paul (French New Wave regular Jean-Pierre Leaud) and Madeleine (Chantal Goya) is especially great, and their first real conversation together is one of my new favorite scenes from a Godard film. Of course, Godard inserts some political commentary here and there along with some scenes that don't seem to to fit in with the rest of the movie, but even that doesn't become a problem because it's just so entertaining. The film has a fairly pessimistic attitude towards teenagers and pokes fun at them constantly, but yet it's still charming somehow. The only real downside to the film is the unexpected ending, which just seems sudden and tacked-on. Otherwise Masculin Feminin is one of Godard's better movies and an interesting look at youth culture in '60s France.
½ October 15, 2013
Somewhat disconnected episodes exploring the themes of male and female with Godard's typical brilliance.
½ September 3, 2013
Revolution ou Liberté??
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