Une femme coquette (found Jean-Luc Godard short film; 1955)
Renowned French New Wave director, Jean-Luc Godard.
Date found: 18 Feb 2017
Found by: David Heslin
Une femme coquette (A Flirtatious Woman) is a short film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, a famous director from the French New Wave, in 1955. The film is about a woman who attempts to attract a man by emulating what she sees a prostitute do. The result of her attempt isn't revealed in the film, but the film holds symbolic and personal relevance to Godard's career, as he attempted to imitate other directors in his work, Everything is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard by Richard Brody (2009).
Godard biographer Richard Brody also writes the following in his book:
"It is a film about watching, about trying to live what one has watched, and about living with yourself after doing something you regret; it is about money and what to do with ill-gotten gains; it is about prostitution--about doing for money what is properly done for love--and how someone unintentionally practices it by merely imitating the gestures of a professional".
An extensive article on the A.V. Club website details one cinephile's long, fruitless search for the film. A scan of an old program listing for the Museum of Modern Art shows that the short screened on February 16th, 1968. The author also states the 16 mm film is screened publicly "at most twice a decade". The latest known screening of the film was in early 2014 at a Godard retrospective being shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. There is no written indication of how these festival organizers obtained a copy or who the current owners are.
On February 18th, 2017, the film was uploaded to YouTube by a user named David Heslin. The original channel has since been terminated, but a mirror can be found below.
- Wikipedia page for the film. Retrieved 19 Mar '16
- An AV Club article on the film. Retrieved 29 Mar '16
- A second AV Club article on the finding of the film. Retrieved 15 Oct '17