A Man and A Woman by Claude Lelouch


Un homme et une femme by Claude Lelouch

Something that Latin America has is a long tradition of cheap melodrama (soap-operas). The affect of this is clearly revealed through what we commonly know as Brazilian “beach” music (bossanova and samba). This includes songs like “Girl from Ipanema” and other elevator music clichés.

There is a clear non-ironic romantic reference to such music in this here film. And that’s all you need to know before you decide to invest in it.

I must say I am deeply dissapointed. I had been told Lelouch was worth my time and this film is his most acclaimed. But I’ve registered countless French romances and Lelouch here disregards them. Of course, he is caught up in editing tricks as comments on de-constructions, the kinda stuff Godard was spawning at that time. I’m sure that somehow this prevented any kind of thoughful storytelling and engaging dialog.

Film romance is tricky because we use it to relate to ourselves and our relationships. So I advise you to skip this at all costs. It may damage more than enrich any of your notions.

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Categories: Notes

3 replies »

  1. Firstly, let me point out that since, as you stated, romance films, and for me cinema in general, are a personal matter, easily do differences appear.
    “A woman and a man” is a classical nostalgic piece of sadness…, yes, that’s what I thought when viewing it. And what amazed me when reading your post is that particularly the music bothered you. While, for me, it is exactly that melancholic “la-ba-da-ba-da” that haunts me. Consequently, that song represents the mood of the entire movie – timidly curious and tenderly lovable.
    Furthermore, there could never be another Anne Gauthier, not one with eyes so musical and nostalgic. It’s her eyes that sing and play the guitar – it’s her that emits the “beach” music, though I wouldn’t call it that way – Brazilian music is so more intense and passionate, but quiet and pleasantly rhythmical.
    I truly hope that if you give the film another chance, you’ll like it more. Yet again, it might be better that you leave it alone.

  2. My problem with the music is that it’s too cute. I’m sure you would agree to its cuteness. Anyhow, I always come around, and Lelouch is not yet barred off the list. I did enjoy his short in the 9″11 short film compilation.

  3. Cute? Meaning sweet? Yes, I guess you could call it that way too. 🙂
    However, it’s not that sweetishly sweet or cutishly cute, if you understand what I mean. Actually, cute isn’t the first world that springs up to me when listening to the two leading songs of the film, if I need to dwell on that, it’d be nostalgia and melancholia. But cute can be applied to them as well.
    Have to check out those shorts. I seem to be postponing it for ages, but the things is political themes are really turning me off. Anyway, I’ll do it some time.

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