Background: Hurry up! Places, everyone!
Godard: Angela wants a baby right away. Like many women, she might suddenly have wanted to go to Marseille, to have an expensive new dress, or a chocolate eclair or something ... a sudden yearning which she would rather die than leave unsatisfied. Which is silly. But there it is: a woman is a woman. And after all, for a woman of twenty-four, wanting a child within twenty-four hours is a noble notion. Now ... now since, as Bazin said, the cinema usurps the role of our eyes to present a world consonant with our dreams, it was extraordinarily tempting to make a Mitchell 300 usurp the gaze of this young Parisian, and so prove, while proving that a woman is always a woman, that the cinema is always cinema. Wait though, here she is. Angela Recamier is her name.
Anna: Lights! Camera! Action!
Godard: Two blue eyes: Giraudoux. A red umbrella: Aragon. That is Angela.
Friday afternoon In Strasbourg-Saint-Denis
Music: theme tune
Anna: Hello! How are things?
Music: theme tune Boy: Haven't you anything a bit more sexy?
Anna: Are you still angry?
Brialy: No, my angel.
Anna: Do you love me, then?
Brialy: Yes, my angel.
Anna: Look, isn't this a pretty postcard, Emile ...
Music: theme tune
Godard: Emile is a bookseller. He likes Dashiell Hammett and Marie-Claire.
Angela leaves him to go to the Zodiac.
And this naive Bayadere.
Is very nearly as beautiful.
As Ava Gard-ner.
Music: Anna's song 'Everyone wonders why?'
Godard: The invention of the cinema is based on a gigantic error: that of recording the image of man, and reproducing it by projecting it till the end of time. In other words, believing that a strip of celluloid is less perishable than a block of stone or even memory. This strange belief means that, from Griffith to Bresson, the history of the cinema and the history of its errors are one: the error of trying to paint ideas better than music, to illustrate actions better than the novel, to describe feelings better than painting. One may say, in short, that errare cinemato graphicum est . ... But this error akin to Eve in the Garden of Eden becomes fascinating in a thriller, arresting in a Western, blinding in a war film, and alluring in what is normally called a musical.
Music: Dance-hall jazz
Godard: Here the audience realizes that Emile plus Angela plus Alfred= Design for Living.! That Alfred Lubitsch, in other words, would like to make it with Angela. Very much so. But also that, like Paula Illery in the superb 14 Juillet, he cherishes a vain dream.
Insult scene (Belmondo)
Belmondo-Anna scene: 'Why didn't you wait for me?' Belmondo: Is that why you're sad? Anna: No. Music Belmondo: Why, then?
Anna: Because I'd like to be in a musical ...
Godard: Before, it was here. Now it's there.
There, as Angela pays homage.
In doing her housework.
Homage to whom?
To My Sister Vera Ellen ...
Godard: So American comedy is dead. Let it go at that2 since everything goes at twenty-four frames a second. But I shall often look back. Witness the fact that Angela is an old-fashioned girl, oddly so. The opposite of Madame Express, naturally. Agreeing with the Pope about birth control. Of course.
Anna: Studying the Fertility Chart.
Music: theme tune Anna (continuing to read the prospectus) with theme music: November the 10th ... what's the date today?
Godard: Emile takes Angela at her word because he loves her. And Angela lets herself get caught in the trap because she loves him.
Brialy: What's the matter now?
Anna: Before a performance, one should bow to the audience.
Music: minuet Brialy: What is it now?
Anna: You don't love me. Anna-Brialy scene: 'I love no one but you.'
Anna: Emile, why don't you sweep up a bit ...
Emile (sings): 1 love no one but you ... [Football match on the radio, with Jean Domarchi's voice commentating (Barcelona-Real Madrid)]
Music Anna: I haven't finished yet.
Godard: These enfants terribles who live Far from Rueil are building between themselves the same relationship as that between nature and the camera. The latter, after all, is first and foremost an apparatus for taking views, and directing is first and foremost humbly seeing things from their own point of view.
Anna-Brialy scene: 'Yes, Angela, if we had a child.'
Anna: Why is it always the women who suffer ...
Brialy: Look at Anquetil during the Tour de France.
Scene up to: 'I want a baby.'
Brialy: I don't see why, all of a sudden ...
Anna: I shall ask just anyone ...
Brialy: Go on. It will do you good.
End of scene with police [End of first side of record]
Anna: Emile! Music
Anna: Farewell Camille, return to your convent.
Brialy: I'll be back.
Godard: Angela thinks that death justifies men. But that life justifies women. But - once again - rather than have Angela look at children on the Boulevards and Pecuchet, make her look at old people, particularly old people who make a fantastic impression on her. For she does not distinguish between documentary and fiction. Just like me. So Angela finally gets the impression that Alfred ... Angela gets the impression that Emile ... Angela, that is, gets the impression that she is being taken for a ride. In a coach, of course. For, rather like Camilla in Renoir's marvellous films, Angela will soon be wondering where the theatre ends and where life begins.
Anna: You disgust me ...
Anna: In comedies as well as tragedies, at the end of the Third Act ...
Godard: Angela is alone once again. No one is less capable than this sincere young girl of that sort of grandiloquence which deliberately dramatizes the most insignificant adventure. Thus Angela resembles a comic version of Chantal in Bernanos's novel.6 At this point, a telephone call from Alfred. He absolutely must speak to Angela about something very important which happened last night.
So Angela gallops to the Cafe Napoleon. Blue coat, white fur, red beret, for her the day of glory is come. It's strange. I meant to have a lot of gags in the big scene between Alfred and Angela, but in the end there is nothing. They talk almost without moving, sitting on a seat, each in twelve sober frames of mind.7 Because this is a talking picture. Besides, I have noticed in the cinema that one almost always does the ea' opposite of what one had planned and yet it still comes out in the . .. as one had first imagined it. What does this prove? It proves that Chabrol is right: the important thing is not the message but the vision.
Belmondo: This morning in Paris-Jour (story of the telegram) ... up too. 'I thought she was a girl a bit like you.'
Godard: Angela returns home to Emile in tears. She announces that she has slept with Alfred. Emile hits upon a Socratic phrase to serve as conclusion to this marivaudage - though marivaudage isn't the right word. If Angela were called Marianne, it would be Musset - after all, it is story of a caprice. Anyhow, all I wanted to say was that Cosi fan tutte. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell Michel Legrand to compose a variati or two on that. Oh well, no matter. Listen to this, it's the moment wh Emile is so unhappy that he feels to hell with it.
Music: theme tune
Brialy: So it is that people are unjust and cruel.
The three blows are struck
Brialy: I don't know whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, but in any case it's a masterpiece. ?
Anna: Put on the Aznavour record.
Anna-Brialy scene: 'Ti, ti, ta, ti.'
Anna-Brialy scene: 'Shall I put the light out to 'Yes, it's sad.'
Anna: I'm sorry, my darling (music: minuet)
Godard: Where does cinema begin? No doubt like the other arts when form becomes style. But let us be clear about style, for style is a matter of meaning. It's ... I don't know. For instance, it's the perspective of Mizoguchi, the aggression of Orson Welles. Style ... how can I express it? It is the reality which the mind claims for itself. I think, too, it is also the definition of liberty given by Hegel. One day, in defence of Chaplin's A King in New York, Rossellini said: 'This is the film of a free man.' Basically, that's it. To create cinema, all one has to do is film free people. Like Emile and Angela. Right, music!
Anna: Can't you read, you idiot? If you don't love me, I love you.
Brialy: And suppose you're pregnant?
Anna: Yes, it's terrible.
Anna-Brialy scene: 'It's suddenly given me an idea .. .' to:
Anna: Let's go.
Music: theme tune
Anna: Wow! Brialy: That was a tight spot ... [whole scene to the end] 'You are infamous'.
Anna: I am not infamous. I am a woman.
excerpt from the book Godard On Godard