Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Masculine-Feminine (1966)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Masculine-Feminine (1966, Fr.) (aka Masculin Féminin)

In Jean-Luc Godard's New Wave romantic drama of sexual politics, taglined: "A Swinging Look at Youth and Love in Paris Today!" - a peek at the city's youth culture in the mid-1960s, alternatively inter-titled: "The Children of Marx and Coca-Cola" - told in 15 chapters, episodes, or vignettes:

  • the two main characters in a developing romantic and sexual relationship in Paris - Paul (Jean-Pierre Léaud), a self-indulgent, idealistic, rebellious, left-wing pseudo-intellectual, 21 years old, angry, unstable, and a skeptical anti-Vietnam War protester, pro-Communist and labor activist, with Madeleine Zimmer (Chantal Goya), a self-centered, vain ingenue model and aspiring pop singer who cared little about world affairs, but more about shopping, magazines and looks
  • the sequence titled: "INTERVIEW WITH A CONSUMER PRODUCT" - a lengthy interview scene (filmed for 6 1/2 minutes in an unbroken take in front of a window) in which unidentified teen idol named Miss 19 (Elsa Leroy, the real-life 'Miss 19' - the winner of a glamour teen magazine contest), displaying her extreme ignorance about politics and world events; she answered off-screen questions proposed by a misogynistic Paul (who was employed by an opinion poll); he painfully grilled her about cultural issues (i.e., socialism, birth control): "Do you think socialism still has a future?...What is socialism to you?...Do you know what birth control is?...Do you know practical ways not to have kids?...Can you tell me where there are wars going on now?"
  • the ménage à quatre between Paul, Madeleine, and her two roommates Elisabeth (Marlene Jobert) and Catherine (Catherine-Isabel Duport) - all co-habitating together
  • the cameo appearance of Brigitte Bardot, seen in a cafe reading a movie script for her next film
  • the sequence titled: "MIS-PROJECTION" - Paul, Madeleine, and her two roommates' attendance at a Swedish film (a parody of Bergman's The Silence (1963, Swe.)), where Paul spoke (in voice-over): "At movies, the screen would light up, and we'd shiver. But more often, we'd be disappointed, Madeline and I. The images seemed old and flickery. Marilyn Monroe had aged terribly. We were sad. This wasn't the film we'd imagined, the perfect film each of us carried within, the film we would like to have made, or perhaps even to have lived"
  • during the screening, Paul ran to the outside entry to the projection booth, where he complained about the projected film's aspect ratio, and the erotic content of the subtitled movie
Movie Screening
  • the dilemma of Madeleine's unwanted pregnancy, forcing Paul to lose his life when he jumped or fell from a building window to his death

(Jean-Pierre Léaud)

Madeleine Zimmer (Chantal Goya)

Paul's Interview with Teen Idol Miss 19


Brigitte Bardot


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