Film #191: Made in U.S.A. (1966)

madeinusaDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Language: French plus some English
Length: 81 minutes
Watched on: 15 June 2016

I got this for Christmas over a year ago, and it’s been sitting in my DVD folder since then. Something has been spurring me to actually go through a few of the DVDs that I have, since I have so many lying around – for whatever reason, I haven’t watched DVDs much recently, and I’ve had some in that folder even since I came to Japan four years ago.

Anyway, I don’t have the case for this one, and couldn’t remember what it’d be about, and it turned out to be a Godard film from the 60s. I couldn’t work out where it was supposed to be set – it has the atmosphere of actually being set in the USA, as the title suggests, but everyone speaks French – I think it’s really meant to be Atlantic City. The story is pretty ephemeral, but it follows Anna Karina’s heroine around as she tries to track down a killer. There are a lot of gangsters.

For me the film is memorable for its visuals, which is usually the distinguishing feature of Godard’s movies. A lot of scenes are done in single shots, and there is one moment when the two main characters are speaking at the same time, and have to individually deliver a soliloquy to camera while the other is speaking – which seems like the most difficult thing to do!

But basically, I’m not such a fan of Godard’s work. Beyond the visuals nothing ever stands out to me, and I usually can’t recall other details about the movies later. It’s all atmosphere, and sometimes that’s all it needs to be effective and have an impact, but I much more appreciate something with a meatier narrative.

On a side note, I watched the DVD extra, which was an interview with Karina, who pronounces the movie with “Made in” the English was and “USA” the French way, which threw me. I didn’t know it might be natural for people to say it that way…

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One Response to Film #191: Made in U.S.A. (1966)

  1. Pingback: Films #193-201: Boys on Film 2: In Too Deep (Short film series) | reuoq

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