Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
Original title: Sauve Qui Peut La Vie
Alternate title: Every Man For Himself
France/Austria/West Germany/Switzerland, 1980. Sara Films, MK2 Productions, Saga-Productions, Sonimage, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, Télévision Suisse-Romande, Österreichischer Rundfunk. Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Mieville. Cinematography by Renato Berta, William Lubtchansky, Jean-Bernard Menoud. Produced by Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Sarde. Music by Gabriel Yared. Production Design by Romain Goupil. Film Editing by Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Mieville. Cannes Film Festival 1980.
Jean-Luc Godard called this his “second first film”, as it marks the latter half of his career when his style became even more introverted and incomprehensible than before (though this one is much more linear and enjoyable than later painful indulgences such as Passion and Eloge De L’Amour would be). Jacques Dutronc plays a filmmaker (curiously named Godard!) who is having trouble accepting the end of his marriage. His ex-girlfriend (Nathalie Baye) wants to go to the country, but he can’t decide if he wants to commit to her or not. Meanwhile, a prostitute (Isabelle Huppert) spends her days going through some of the most curious adventures on the seedy side of life. Godard’s unnerving photographic and editing techniques, which will thrill some and aggravate others, sporadically service the story, while the story promotes his feeling that the ideals of his culturally revolutionary days have all disintegrated into a world of selfish capitalists. Not that you’ll get that without reading the internet synopses, but all the same, it’s there. Huppert and Baye are both exceptionally good in their roles.