Made in the USA

Jean-Luc Godard's film is - and isn't - a tribute to The Big Sleep

Although French cinemaster/provocateur Jean-Luc Godard always hinted that Made in the USA, his 1966 gangster movie, was an homage to Howard Hawks's 1946 The Big Sleep(playing concurrently at MFAH), it's really an outright homage to Godard himself. All Godard's tics of the trade are in evidence: the weird narrative, his then-wife Anna Karina as muse and lead actress, the Brechtian jump cuts, the sly little winks to Hollywood past, the structured, claustrophobic framing. Then there's the Marxian (not Groucho, unfortunately) influences as agitprop, the no-ending ending. The pop-art lushness of the color and the doll-like costuming cement the movie to its era like a time capsule, and, yes, that's Marianne Faithfull singing in the bar scene. 7:15 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5:15 Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org. $6 to $7.
July 2-5, 2009

 
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