Two or Three Things I Know About Her [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1966]

Jean-Luc Godard was fascinated with prostitution as a metaphor for the corruption of modern life, and he turned his eye from the figurative to the literal selling of one's self in his 1966 film Deux ou Trois Choses Que Je Sais d'Elle (aka 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her), the story of a Paris housewife who turns tricks on the side to help pay the bills. The film proved to be one of Godard's most popular and talked-about films, and the Criterion Collection have given it its North American DVD debut in an excellent edition. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her has been transferred to disc in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1, letterboxed on conventional televisions and enhanced for anamorphic playback on 16:9 monitors. The bold colors, tight focus and imaginative framings of Raoul Coutard's cinematography are rendered with flawless accuracy on this DVD, which looks good enough to give nearly any home theater a chance to show its capabilities. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono, and the sound is clear, sharp and well detailed. The dialogue is in French, with optional subtitles but no multiple language options. Criterion's release includes a full compliment of bonus materials, including an optional commentary track by Adrian Martin in which he discusses the various political and personal metaphors at work. Also featured are a pair of television interviews shot during the making of the film, one with actress Marina Vlady and another in which Godard discusses prostitution and drug abuse with a French government official. Antoine Bourseiller, a French theatrical director and producer, was a friend and colleague of Godard in the Sixties, and in an on-camera interview he talks about their working relationship and Godard's decision to walk away from their friendship. A short "visual essay" examines the many literary references that pop up in the film, and the picture's original trailer is also included. Finally, Amy Taubin contributes an original essay to the booklet included with the package, and a letter written in response to a French magazine piece on housewives working as belle de jours by one such woman is reprinted (Godard cited it as a key inspiration for the film). 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her came from a period when Godard was moving away from conventional narrative and generic frameworks, but its accessible in a way his work from Weekend onward would not be, and it's intelligent and provocative stuff that still hits its targets more than 40 years after it was first released, and Criterion's DVD release allows it to look and sound very contemporary indeed.
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Special Features

  • Audio Commentary featuring film scholar Adrian Martin
  • Archival television interviews: the first featuring actress Marina Vlady on the set of the film, the second with Jean-Luc Godard debating the subject-of prostitution
  • New video interview with theater Director of Antoine Bourseiller, a friend of Godard's in the sixties
  • A visual essay cataloging the multiple references in the film
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Plus: An Essay by Film Critic Amy Taubin and the letter that sparked the idea for the film


Two or Three Things I Know About Her
The feminine pronoun in the title of this film from Jean-Luc Godard refers to both a French housewife and the city of Paris, as each are changed in fundamental ways by the growth of consumer culture in Europe. Juliette Janson (Marina Vlady) lives with her husband and two children in a high-rise apartment block in Paris. Juliette and her family used to live in a working class community on the outskirts of town, but they've been drawn into the city in search of a higher standard of living, reflected in their new home and their desire for more of the latest consumer goods. Juliette's husband can barely support the household on his salary, so she taken to working as a prostitute without his knowledge to help pay the bills. Deux ou Trois Choses Que Je Sais d'Elle (aka 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her) follows Juliette over the course of a seemingly ordinary day as she looks after the kids, takes care of her husband and plies her trade when she has the chance. Shot simultaneously with Made In U.S.A., 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her found Godard moving away from his fascination with American genre cinema while exploring radical politics and alternatives to conventional narrative frameworks; it proved to be one of his last films to reach a large audience in theaters. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Marina Vlady
    Marina Vlady - Juliette Janson
  • Anny Duperey
    Anny Duperey - Marianne
  • Image coming soon
    Roger Montsoret - Robert Janson
  • Image coming soon
    Raoul J. Lévy - The American
  • Image coming soon
    Yves Beneyton - Long-Haired Youth

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