Monday, April 27, 2009

Une femme mariée, fragments d'un film tourné en 1964 en noir et blanc

Released this past Monday by The Masters of Cinema Series, at the same time as Pialat's La Gueule ouverte: Jean-Luc Godard's long-unavailable-in-a-proper-DVD-edition 1964 masterpiece Une femme mariée, fragments d'un film tourné en 1964 en noir et blanc [A Married Woman: Fragments of a Film Shot in 1964 in Black and White]. The release contains a high-definition transfer of the film, based on a new Gaumont restoration, with new and meticulously edited (removable, white) English subtitles. Also included, and being presented on home-video for the first time ever, is the original 3-1/2-minute trailer for the film (approx. two minutes longer than that listed in the filmography of the Centre Pompidou's 2006 volume Jean-Luc Godard: Documents), created and edited by Godard himself, which was telecined (and is also presented in a progressive, high-definition transfer) at MoC's express request and expense.

Accompanying the disc: an 80-page perfectly-bound book that contains:

— A carefully crafted cover.

— Film-credits for both the feature and the trailer.

— An editorial preface on the release, on "Godard-style" graphic pastiches in JLG-related media collateral, and on the commodification of cinema and physical/virtual "home video" media.

— A short inquiry into the nature and use of "production stills" in media and press.

— A new two-page 'overture' to the film by Luc Moullet (whose new film, La Terre de la folie, debuts next month at Cannes, and which in a perfect world would be the most anticipated work of the festival, alongside Pedro Costa's Ne change rien, Almodóvar's Broken Embraces, To's Vengeance, Tsai's Face, Resnais' Les Herbes folles, Coppola's Tetro, and Hong's Like You Know It All, among others — including Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, which features my friend Tina in a small, this-is-just-the-beginning role).

— A new 20-page roundtable discussion on the film, and its relationship to the entirety of Godard's oeuvre from the '60s to the '00s, between Luc Moullet, Bill Krohn (of "Kinbrody and the Ceejays" notoriety), and me.

— A new 21-page investigation into and analysis of the film, by Bill Krohn.

— A new statement about the film by its star, Macha Méril.

— A new and exclusive English translation by me, running 12 pages, of Godard's genius 1978 lecture on the film, and its relationship to Ingmar Bergman's work, to Flaherty's Nanook of the North, to Rossellini's Francesco giullare di Dio, and to the world and the Image at large, as originally transcribed and presented in the long-unavailable and absolutely vital Introduction à une véritable histoire du cinéma.

— JLG's Hitchcock collage.

— The relevant excerpts from Jean Racine's Bérénice, presented in the original French, with new parallel English translations by me.

— Endnotes, featuring remarks by myself and Andy Rector.

Stop at nothing to acquire your copy today.

On a personal note: my own work on the DVD and the book would have been completely impossible without the presence and support of the Google-string-evadable J. C. (who is not Jesus, though she has the same initials) — to whom this release is, at least on my part, in any case, sincerely dedicated.



  1. I'm not much for this film (based on a single, dvd-projected viewing), but the accompanying materials still make this perhaps my most desired (non-Pialat) dvd of the year so far. Impressive, impressive work on your part in helping put this together. many thanks.

  2. Unlike Dave, this has been one of my favorite 60s Godards ever since seeing it on the barely-tolerable New York Film Annex DVD. This new presentation of one of Godard's most important but lesser-known 60s masterpieces is GREATLY appreciated.

  3. Been looking forward for the release of this film. And will definitely get a copy. Great work on your part for helping making this a must by package.

  4. Dave, did you see this at Film Forum in the "60s Godard" series? Because while the film was certainly shown in lackluster digital projection, it wasn't DVD. (I believe it was Digibeta, if memory serves.) Also, you owe it to yourself to take another look at this; Godard is at the height of his artistic powers here.


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