1959. France. Jean-Luc Godard. 89 min.
Sunday, June 15, 2008, 2:30 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
1959. France. Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Music by Martial Solal. With Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Daniel Boulanger. At once a loving homage to Hollywood B-movies and a seismic shattering of film conventions, Godard's debut feature also boasts one of the great jazz scores of French New Wave cinema. Composer Solal makes playful use of a five-note theme, drawing out its variations, velocities, and dissonances, and sometimes abruptly truncating it in the manner of a jump cut. Arranged for piano and strings, the theme diverges into two melodies, one for Belmondo's small-time Paris hoodlum and the other for Seberg's American ingénue. As Solal observes, "They are both five notes: one is coming from the low note to the high note; the other is exactly the contrary. Using almost the same notes, with different, contrary figures, gives the opposite feeling. One makes you anxious; the other is romantic." In French; English subtitles. 89 min.