Review from Time Out London:
Something like a remake of Pierrot le Fou in its cosmic despair, doom-laden romanticism, and stinging, insolent wit. Replacing Bizet with Beethoven and recasting the operatic cigarette girl as a cheapo terrorist, this is really an intimate journal musing about three movies in one. As in Passion, there is a bleak acknowledgement of the difficulty of making films (with the string quartet’s Beethoven rehearsals indicating how the film-maker is going astray in the tone and tempo of his attempts to communicate). Then there is the story of Carmen and Don José, which obstinately refuses to get off the ground, grinding into a grim stasis where l’amour fou dies miserably as the naked lovers take sexual stock. And finally there is Godard himself, drawing all the threads together in a confessional performance as a burnt-out film-maker languishing in a lunatic asylum, out of which he is tempted only to suffer both professional and personal betrayal by Carmen (last name Karina?). Not for nothing does the film carry a nostalgic dedication ‘in memoriam small movies’. This, throwaway jokes and all, is Godard back at his most nouvelle vague in years.
Stars: Maruschka Detmers, Jacques Bonnaffé, Myriem Roussel