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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychologically true
Perhaps only Jean-Luc Godard would be arrogant or mad enough to make a film of the nativity recast in 1980s Switzerland.The maddest thing of all is it is a sensitive and successful film. He concentrates on the experience of Mary, who is a basketball playing teenager who has stuck by her high moral standards by not sleeping with her boyfriend Joseph only to find herself...
Published on 3 Mar. 2007 by Mykool

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3.0 out of 5 stars Godard's second wave
In Hail Mary(1985) Godard has stripped away a lot of the theology and the clothes of the Biblical story and set it in modern Geneva. He has brought to this controversial film a lot of the enthusiasm and naivety of the 1st new wave to this 2nd wave effort. This is both richly textured by threads from both his 60s and 70s films,having multiple storylines that reflect both...
Published 2 days ago by technoguy


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychologically true, 3 Mar. 2007
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Perhaps only Jean-Luc Godard would be arrogant or mad enough to make a film of the nativity recast in 1980s Switzerland.The maddest thing of all is it is a sensitive and successful film. He concentrates on the experience of Mary, who is a basketball playing teenager who has stuck by her high moral standards by not sleeping with her boyfriend Joseph only to find herself pregnant by divine intervention. Joseph can't believe her, believing she must be seeing someone else, and she has to endure the embarrassment and humiliation of appearing to have violated her values. She struggles with the idea of a child growing inside her without having played a role in its conception or even enjoyed the intimacy of its creation. Although considered highly controversial, this seems to me to be a sincere and psychologically true portrayal. It is also illuminating for believers as it shows that Mary endured suffering and injustice in the same way Jesus would, perhaps preparing the way psychologically for him. There is a lot of nudity and it is perhaps this which was considered most controversial, but this is always non-sexual and you would have to be a very severe prude to find it offensive. Some of the imagery is heavy-handed, such as when Eva, part of a sub-plot, bites slowly into an apple but as a whole the film is subtle and illuminating. It is preceded by a half-hour short by Godard's partner Anne-Marie Mieville, called the Book of Mary about a girl whose parents are going through a divorce. It is not directly connected to the film but serves as an oblique introduction. Only available in Region 1 format so you will need a region 1 or multi-region player.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Godard return to form, 15 Jan. 2010
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Considered by some blasphemous because of its relocation of the virgin birth to present-day Switzerland, "Hail, Mary" (Je Vous Salue, Marie) is still a beautiful work of art by a master-craftsman who had seemed to lose his way in the 1970's. Myriem Roussel is luminous as the bewildered incarnation of Mary, and Dvorak's music complements the almost slow-motion scene-setting as the story unfolds. Jacob, forced to come to terms with the fact that his chaste girlfriend is mysteriously pregnant yet out of bounds, sums up the film's message that love is not all about the 'physical'.
The additional film short featured on the DVD and also partnering this film when first shown in the theatre - 'The Book of Mary' - although not directed by Godard seems to act as a fitting overture to this wonderful film. If you truly love cinema you cannot fail to enjoy this movie.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Godard's second wave, 25 Mar. 2015
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technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
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In Hail Mary(1985) Godard has stripped away a lot of the theology and the clothes of the Biblical story and set it in modern Geneva. He has brought to this controversial film a lot of the enthusiasm and naivety of the 1st new wave to this 2nd wave effort. This is both richly textured by threads from both his 60s and 70s films,having multiple storylines that reflect both material and spiritual realms and abstract editing techniques. He organises scenes from two narratives. Hail Mary has characters and narrative. This alone makes it one of Godard's better films. The impulse of narration is driven by Mary(Roussel) a student who plays basket-ball and works in her father's petrol station. Her boyfriend Joseph(Rode) is a school drop-out who drives a cab. She becomes mysteriously pregnant while remaining a virgin, much to Joseph's irritability, being a young man with desires having courted her for 2 years. The angel Gabriel(Lacoste) arrives by plane to announce this and must school Joseph to accept Mary's pregnancy, while Mary comes to terms with God's plan through meditations that are sometimes angry and usually punctuated by elemental images of the sun, moon, clouds, flowers, and water. Godard intercuts a brief parallel story of a science teacher who believes human life came from extra-terrestrials whose affair with a student ends cynically.

We have 4 themes in this controversial film of 1985:1) the story of the Virgin Birth updated to modern times;2) that humans evolved from extra-terrestrials who seeded life here on earth; 3) the mystery of woman and human birth; 4)the nature of the soul and the body. The whole of nature is in concourse with the birth, the moon, the sun, the trees, water, quivering flowers, animals. Some feeling and yearning have worked their way back into the film via the dual nature of the story. Mary's narrative is aligned with the rhythm of the Earth, not onlyhelping us feel the passage of time, but also to imply that Mary's story has deep ties to nature. Godard is aware that Christianity and cinema are not grounded in historical truth but in the need to tell a story that says "now believe,whatever happens". Due to his lack of faith he needed a story `bigger' than himself. En ce temps la is a regular intertitle meaning `at this time': the divine story incarnated in time. The `pitiless universe' could be equated to Mary's womb.

The title is the greeting of the angel Gabriel to Mary when he announced she was going to bear Jesus.Hail Mary is the last gasp of cinematic Godard with a story and characters, tying the film down to the topical and tangible, even though Joseph and Mary are recognisable archetypes. His genius comes in the cutting of sound and image,the use of grandiose music appropriate for a religious epic,undercutting or interrupting it with dialogue,nature sounds and industrial clanging.He makes use of parallel stories to compare and contrast the spiritual and the material worlds. The Virgin Birth is presented as a reality - the mystery for Godard being womanhood and birth in general. This he explores through stunning images of nature and the nude figure of his heroine - the latter photographed chastely without voyeurism or sexism, after certain classic paintings.The film is not without comedy eg the young Jesus runs away from his dad on a picnic saying he's going to be with his "Father",and sensitively treats the subject with a great use of Dvorak and Bach.The spirit of the story fills the body of the film with new life. A prologue story(The Book of Mary) about change in a young girl's life whose parents are divorcing by Godard's partner sets the tone nicely. A real find.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hail the tv license d-thinker.com, 6 Sept. 2014
Essentially or physically she is asexual, but Mary is emotionally female. Though their does exist nudity, there is nothing erotic in it. The question is being erotic a sin? Eve is not erotic, but sensual.

The book of Mary made by Goddard's wife was shown as a prelude to the main film, actually made into one film by the BBC when it was shown? Hail the tv license, but the tv has become dull now, though this film has aged better.....

In the book of Mary talks to a man on a train, a stranger. I did appreciate the idea of living, or what is living from the short. Perhaps more than Mork and Mindy which I sensed was about Mork learning to live.
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Hail Mary [Blu-ray] [1985] [US Import]
Hail Mary [Blu-ray] [1985] [US Import] by Jean-Luc Godard (Blu-ray - 2014)
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