Jean-Luc Godard Interview
Masculine Feminine - Pierre Daix
Q: Can it be said that Masculine Feminine is a film about youth?
A: No, I don't believe so. It is more a film on the idea of youth. A
philosophical idea, but not a practical one - a way of reacting to
things. A young way, let us say. If people don't react to things the
same way that they do when they're forty, it's simply because when
they're nineteen they're only nineteen and not forty. What I mean is:
it's not a dissertation on youth or even an analysis, even if the film
in some ways is closer to sociology than to the novel. Let's say it
speaks of youth, but it's a piece of music, a "concerto on youth." How
can it be differentiated from an other, since it's all musical notes,
it's music whereas in novels, the words are young, but the meaning will
come from the sign, and I have taken young signs, signs that have not
yet been deformed, that are not printed characters. My signs haven't
already been used a thousand times. It's the first time they've been
used. I can talk about them now, afterward, because when I made this
film, I didn't have the least idea of what I wanted.
Q: Was your point of departure a story by Maupassant?
A: Yes, theoretically; what I started was a story of Maupassant's called
"Paul Mistress." It's the story of a boy who's in love with a girl, and
things don't go well because this girl is in love with another girl. And
in the end things went off course as they always do when I use a "wall"
to hoist myself on. Then I discover something else and I forget the wall
I hired young people. They interested me, so I did tings that had to do
with them. The original plans having to do with them weren't important;
I made them talk. I think it can be said that this film is a survey; but
if so, it is a very advanced survey, in the sense that everything
happens where and when the survey is being conducted. Every time the
young people talk with each other, they are conducting a survey: the boy
is doing opinion research on the girl; even when he is talking about
love, they are conducting surveys all around them. And I make a survey
of them. They themselves are tracking each other down; it's sort of