Inside The Subversive Style Of A Godard Heroine


“Everything that embellishes life is instructive”

The filmography of Jean-Luc Godard is filled with incendiary, wildly influential work. Even if his films weren't fashionable, they'd be vital. But of course, one of the fun things about Godard is the fact that his work is filled with capital-L Looks. Just think of Jean Seberg's striped shirt (the epitome of insouciant Francophile style before it became a cliché) or New York Herald Tribune sweater in Breathless (1960), or Anna Karina's divine fur collar and primary-colored stockings in A Woman Is a Woman (1961). These looks have become perennial reference points for film snobs and fashion magazines alike, and with good reason. One of Godard's most fashionable achievements (among other things, of course), Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967) played at New York's Metrograph theater in a sure-to-be-beautiful 35mm print earlier this month, and the auteur's new film, The Image Book, premieres at the New York Film Festival tonight.

Two or Three Things I Know About Her is a foray into experimentation that uses a philosophical whispered voiceover from the director and fragmentary imagery to follow Juliette (Marina Vlady), a bourgeois housewife who dabbles in prostitution. The film critiques capitalism and the Vietnam War and features characters directly addressing the camera. All of this seriousness, though, is presented in some of the most potent, pop art-ready colors of the '60s. Costumes exist in harmony with décor and products. An early scene of Juliette washing dishes features a frock in a psychedelic pattern, a red-and-purple Buster Keaton poster, and an array of appealingly arranged packages. What could be mundane becomes scenic.

Fashion is presented as one of many quotidian concerns. "Should I wear trompe l'oeil ankle sock designs on pantyhose designed by Louis Ferraud?" Juliette asks, flipping through a magazine. Godard probably doesn't care all that much—it's just another consumerist distraction in the modern world, after all. But part of what's fascinating about Two or Three Things I Know About Her is how the camera lingers on fashion, making colors and patterns look so pleasingly tactile. Juliette wears a truly fabulous patent striped raincoat and wanders through a store brimming with colorful apparel.

A grid of shelves offers up a tantalizing array of striped shirts. Tightly packed plaid skirts and colorful sweaters fight for our attention, and the rack of furs suggest a life of upward mobility. At one point, the film describes art as "that by which form becomes style." The shop offers its own kind of artistic palette, with brightly colored tools that might momentarily relieve the blahness of the modern world. The sartorial choices to make feel endless, and the shopping scene lasts longer than we might expect. We observe Juliette's life, and while we may not really know her, we can lose ourselves in these aisles like kids in a candy store.

In one of her interactions as a prostitute, Juliette asks her client not to watch her undress. It's a small moment, but it suggests the power of clothing to protect. Later, a client asks her to put a Pan Am flight bag, one of the best-known consumer symbols of the decade, on her head. For all the talk about Godard's often-imperfect depictions of femininity, Two or Three Things I Know About Her seems to mock the concept of objectification by making it so literal, and doesn't go out of the way to make Juliette's fashion provocative.

Juliette at one point wears a striped dress along with her striped raincoat. Are the stripes symbolic of a sort of prison? Perhaps, but they're things Juliette chose, and she looks good in them. She wears the coat while standing by a painting of Anna Karina in A Woman Is a Woman, a clever wink at the director's fashion repertoire.

Late in the film, Juliette looks at us. She is wearing the raincoat and standing in front of a building in gray and violet tones that accent it perfectly. Juliette is enigmatic, a fashionable specter of womanhood. But her clothes just might give us some clues. As the film itself says, "Everything that embellishes life is instructive."

Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video]



Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

As in Black Panther Political Party leader

It's been a running joke that the Black parents/grandparents of millennials were really confused about all of the Black Panther hoopla ahead of its 2018 release. Many of them were anticipating a movie about members of the Black Panther Political Party and didn't know who the hell T'Challa was. Well, those people are about to have their moment, and we're about to have another one.

Variety is reporting that Fred Hampton, the Black Panther leader at the center of the upcoming biopic Jesus Was My Homeboy, could be played by none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Apparently, he is in negotiations for the role. And he's not the only Black Panther alum in the mix. The Warner Bros. project is being produced by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler. The same article reports that the forever swoon-worthy Lakeith Stanfield—who appeared with Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out—is also in negotiations, to play William O'Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

Coogler and Charles King are putting together a dream cast to tell a difficult story. Hampton was killed by the Chicago Police Department, while his pregnant girlfriend lay next to him, thanks in part to information they received from O'Neal. Whenever it's out, I strongly recommend having Black Panther queued up as a palate cleanser.