TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (1966). Although the subject here is a familiar one for Jean-Luc Godard -- prostitution as the logical extension of capitalism -- this film, one of his loveliest, has the melancholy of an uncertain valedictory. The story of Juliette (Marina Vlady), a Parisian housewife living in a modern apartment complex who resorts to prostitution to make ends meet, was inspired by a newspaper account, but that's just one of the film's themes. The "her" of the title is a construction-site-riddled Paris, with Godard searching for traces of the beauty he once saw there. The film is also his inquiry into how faithfully the cinema can represent life; it's shot through with the knowledge that, even as the camera is recording, time marches on. But for all its uncertainty this is Godard's finest fusion of the philosophical and the emotional, and it documents his love for and alienation from pop life: the primary colors of billboards and advertising look prettier and emptier than ever.
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