France / Italy, 1961 (MIFF 2009, Anna Karina)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
“It's not a musical - it's the idea of a musical.” - Jean-Luc Godard
In stunning colour CinemaScope and featuring Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean-Claude Brialy at the peak of their popularity, A Woman Is a Woman is Godard's clever and playful tribute to the American musical and the comedies of Ernst Lubitsch.
Karina plays a striptease artist who decides she wants to become pregnant “in the next 24 hours”. When her lover refuses to comply, she recruits his more-than-willing best friend.
Described by Godard as “a neorealist musical - that is, a contradiction in terms,” A Woman Is a Woman abounds with playful winks at the audience, from the opening call of “lights, camera, action” to the copious references to other Godard and François Truffaut films.
Karina's role in the film won her an award for best actress at the 1961 Berlin film festival.