A Woman Is a Woman (1961)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Stars: Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Paul Belmondo
Fuck what you heard about pidgin English in Jean-Luc Godard's last film, Film Socialismeâ€”the crusty auteur is fun, especially in his oldest films. A Woman Is a Woman, his second feature and first full-length endeavor with his then-wife Anna Karina, is a self-aware musical, except no one sings. Reveling in the artificiality of one of Hollywood's most adored genres, the film's a serious joke that bats around some complicated ideas about gender and monogamy, like a cat with a dying mouse.
The colors pop, the performances wink and nudge at the fourth wall, and the score stops and starts without warning. P.T. Anderson's gorgeous Punch-Drunk Love borrowed liberally from the color palette and sound mixing of Godard's small gem. Good thinking, Paul.