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Masculin Feminin (The Criterion Collection)

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

With Masculin Féminin, ruthless stylist and iconoclast Jean-Luc Godard introduces the world to "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola," through a gang of restless youths engaged in hopeless love affairs with music, revolution, and each other. French new wave icon Jean-Pierre Léaud stars as Paul, an idealistic would-be intellectual struggling to forge a relationship with adorable pop star Madeleine (real-life yé-yé girl Chantal Goya). Through their tempestuous affair, Godard fashions a candid and wildly funny free-form examination of youth culture in throbbing 1960s Paris, mixing satire and tragedy as only JLG can.

Special Features

  • Exclusive new video interviews, conducted in 2005, with actress Chantal Goya, cinematographer Willy Kurant, and Godard collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin
  • Theatrical trailer for the 2005 rerelease
  • 16-page booklet featuring new essay by film scholar Adrian Martin and a reprint of a report from the set by French journalist Philippe Labro
  • Archival 1966 interview with actress Chantal Goya
  • Video discussion of the film by French film scholars Freddy Buanche and Dominique Paini
  • Swedish television footage of Godard directing the "film within the film" scene

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert, Michel Debord, Catherine-Isabelle Duport
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard, Guy de Maupassant
  • Producers: Anatole Dauman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2005
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A88ERS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,517 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masculin Feminin (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sarah_Aliza on March 12, 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
A great movie. An interesting stop in Godard's career. A pseudo-revolutionary and a pop singer have an odd relationship. It is worth it to watch this one alongside "Pierrot Le Fou," because the two movies are different yet at the same time quite fluid. In fact, if this one does not hook you, I would give "Pierrot" a try and then come back to "Masculin/Feminin." Jean-Pierre Leaud (from The 400 Blows) is particularly excellent in this film.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Amazon's review is right on the money concerning this film.
What I would add is that this film best shows the change that female sexual liberation had on society. The boy, totally in love, has nothing of value to give to a girl who considers sex an everyday occurance -- a big change from the going-steady days of the late fifties and early sixties when sex was the culmination of a protracted courtship. The masculine and feminine roles changed forever and continue so to this day. Goddard was there first. In 1966, this film was cutting edge. In 1999 it remains an important work with a lot to say to the present generation concerning the battle of the sexes that has, apparently, been won for good by the ladies.
I saw it in 1966 on a first date with a very conservative girl who was convinced after we left the theatre that I was a sex pervert. Unfortunately for me she was as yet unwashed by the New Wave.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on December 15, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
My favorite Godard film is Pierrot Le Fou and Masculine/Feminine is usually considered alongside Pierrot because the two films do make for an interesting contrast. Pierrot Le Fou is the romantics Godard film and Masculine/Feminine is the realists Godard film. Both films deal with disaffected people at two different times in life. Pierrot stars Belmondo and Karina as disaffected adults -- when the two meet Belmondo is already married but Karina gives him an excuse to abandon his boring bourgeoisie existence and head off on a road trip where he learns through the helpful example of Karina what true freedom is. Maculine/Feminine -- starring Leaud and Goya -- is about younger people disaffected by their mundane lives but neither really knows what to do about it. They each have vague dreams but neither has much direction or any real hope and their time together leads neither toward any increased self-awareness. Pierrot Le Fou is filmed outside in the sun by the sea and the atmosphere inspires the characters who attempt to communicate but who for the most part remain trapped within themselves and their own private relationship with the world -- even though the two characters remain at an unclosable distance from one another there is a sense of shared adventure that gives the film its romantic feel. Ultimately in Pierrot le Fou increased freedom also means increased self-awareness and increased awareness of each persons singular nature so the film moves inexorably toward a tragic end. Masculine/Feminine takes place primarily indoors and there is no sense of adventure but rather one of the world closing in as they try to come to grips with what that unavoidable world they are confronted with is all about.Read more ›
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on February 11, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Jean-Luc Godard's "Masculine -Feminine" first opened in Los Angeles 38 years ago but it's charms and timeless tenderness are as insinuating and thoughtful as they were in 1966.

Jean-Pierre Leaud as Paul, Godard's hero is passionately in love with Madeleine (Chantal Goya) but Paul is also passionately in hate of the war in Vietnam and the De Gaulle government. Godard is making a love story but he is making it in the real world of France, 1966: student riots, a world that Godard describes as "the world of the children of Marx and Coca Cola."

Godard is not making a docudrama though and he lets us know this with his formal structuring of the plot: he divides Paul's story into chapters to make sure we understand that this is a movie that we are watching and that he is a film maker arranging and conducting the scenes.

Despite all this though: Godard has made a thoughtful and touching film about fervent young love and the blind, maybe even mis-guided righteousness of the young and foolish.

"Masculine-Feminine" is real and superbly made and it a pleasure to re-discover it's many charms and to experience once again it's enchanting and vulnerable love story.
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Format: DVD
It was in 1966 that Nouvelle Vague (French New Wave) director Jean-Luc Godard ("Contempt", "Breathless", "Pierrot le fou") would release his film about youth in the mid-60's titled "Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis".

Released after the successful "Pierrot le fou" (1965), "Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis" would become a different film by Godard standards as it would focus on Parisian youth in 1965 but also start to show signs of a different Godard (who separated from Anna Karina, who was a major actress in his films) and also a precursor to his films incorporating his political views. But as for the characters featured in "Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis", call the young adults that were a sign of the times or as Godard would call them, "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola".

"Masculin féminin: 15 faits précis" was scrutinized and lambasted by critics during its release in 1966, many of those critics who have revisited the film have taken back what they originally have said and now realize how it is one of Godard's best films and some have considered it a masterpiece that was ahead of its time.


"Masculin féminin" is featured in black and white and presented in 1:33:1. Cinematographer Willy Kurant supervised the new high-definition digital transfer which was created on a Spirit Datacine from the 35mm grain master. Also, thousands of instances of dirt, debris and scratches were removed from the MTI Digital Restoration Ssytem.

As for the audio, the French monoraul soundtrack was mastered at 24-bit from the optical soundtrack master and audio restoration tools were used the Criterion to remove clicks, pops, hiss and crackle. The film is Dolby Digital 1.
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