This scene from Jean-Luc Godard’s film Une Femme Est Une Femme is one of my favorite fight scenes of all time. The movement of the shots surrounding the two characters is very fluid, and you feel as though you are experiencing a glimpse of life with this couple. There is a perfect amount of comic relief dispersed throughout their conversation, and the director also structures the sound design, lighting, and camera movement to add to the whimsical nature of this scene.
Once the couple is finally settled in bed, the lights turn off and dialogue is heard on a black screen for a couple moments. The light is then turned on, and in the scenes to follow, both characters use the lamp as a prop and as a spotlight, bringing it to different parts of the room. The movement of the light in the shots, playing a character, draws your eye around the area and beckons your eye to follow the action in the scene.
The idea to incorporate the lamp into the scene draws attention to the subject matter; and adds an additional element to the power struggle and the fight between the couple. Because the couple is not on speaking turns, they use the books from the bookshelf to illustrate their thoughts towards one another. The thunderstorm-like sound heard in the background of this sequence adds to the silence between the couple, and the light music heard scantly throughout helps lighten the mood slightly. This film perfectly demonstrates the benefits of playing with light, music, and actions, and how realism and practicality are not always the best approach to making a film enjoyable. Plus, Anna Karina is just so cute, she could do anything and the film would be great!