My Favorite Story

This first feature (1988, 96 min.) by Anne-Marie MievilleGodard’s major collaborator since the mid-70s, whose short The Book of Mary played in tandem theatrically with his Hail Maryconcerns three generations of women and their relations with men as well as each other. Loosely plotted but highly structured it’s in some respects a reply to Godard’s First Name: Carmen (there’s one direct allusion in the dialogue), and the carefully constructed sound trackparticularly in a striking sequence devoted to a voice lessonevokes some of the formal concerns of Godard’s work as well. But on the whole, it’s a disappointment; there’s hardly more substance here than in the much shorter The Book of Mary. One is also reminded once again that certain sectors of French feminism are still at a fairly rudimentary stage of development: the usual sexism of Godard’s work (to take one example) deserves more of a response and an alternative than is proposed here. In French with subtitles. (JR)

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