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Every Man For Himself 

Jean-Luc Godard's 1980 film about gets a re-release

click to enlarge Smoking and pondering: Jacques Dutronc
  • Smoking and pondering: Jacques Dutronc

Godard, whose films are interesting even when (like this one) they're dull, is fascinated by the futility of relationships and the way men (mis)treat women, and he's anything but subtle about it. As much as he loves ideas, he seems to love the impossibility of love even more. You know from the start of Every Man For Himself, his esteemed and somewhat tedious and transparent 1980 film, that he's not going to lie to you. When the friend of a writer (Nathalie Baye) asks if her book will be about how things are, rather than how we want them to be, she says, "That wouldn't go down very well." She's just moved from the cruel city to live in the verdant countryside, photographed by Godard with more sunlight than any artist has a right to borrow. Her story complements and interacts with those of a prostitute (the always-mesmerizing Isabelle Huppert), and a brooding TV director (Jacques Dutronc), named Godard. We struggle to hang on, the writer reflects, and we scream to whoever will listen, "I am not a machine." It's hard to know whether to nod profoundly at this or roll your eyes just a bit. Meanwhile, the fictional Godard just wants everyone to shut up. "Even in a dream," he says, "everyone keeps looking for solutions." And by dream, of course, he means film. In French, with subtitles. Starts Fri., Feb. 25. Harris

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