Spoiler: No, I can’t.
Jean-Luc Godard has died, and in The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw writes about the director and in particular his love of 1964’s Une Femme Mariée. While I know and love Breathless and Le Mépris, I’ve never seen this film – also known as A Married Woman. So I decided to seek it out.
You know where this is going.
It’s obviously not on any of the streaming services – not even candidates like the BFI Player, Mubi or Curzon Home Cinema. It’s certainly not on Netflix or Prime Video. I did find it on Google Play Movies, but only in the US. Change to the UK and it’s not available.
That’s OK – I can wait 24 hours for a shiny disc from Amazon.
A trawl around there reveals that the Masters of Cinema label did have a Blu Ray of it available in the UK, but it’s since been deleted (labels like these only tend to licences to release titles for a set period of time), and copies floating around on the secondary market tend to be in £50-100 range. However, there is an in-print French edition, but that doesn’t come with English subtitles. Similarly, there’s a Spanish market Blu Ray that’s very reasonably priced, but that disc only comes with Spanish subtitles.
There is also a US Blu Ray edition from Cohen Media, that seems to be encoded to allow Region B (i.e. European) playback. That’d be £35 for me to pick up, and may be the only route for me.
I did check a few of the boxsets as well – sometimes that’s a way to find a single title. There’s a Studiocanal “Essential” Godard boxset, which does include some really good films – including Breathless and Le Mépris. But Une Femme Mariée isn’t among them.
So there we have it. I either buy the US Blu Ray for around £35 or I don’t see the film. It’s actually cheaper to buy an original press photo or lobby card on eBay than to see the actual film!
It’s strange that in this time of ubiquitous streaming services and everything in the cloud, it feels like it’s getting harder, not easier, to see old films.
Bradshaw ends his piece:
There is, and was, no one like Godard, and his loss makes this a sombre day. It’s a day to watch Une Femme Mariée to be reminded of how exciting and sexy his films were.
Sadly, today’s not the day for me to see it. I must wait 14-21 days for my US copy to arrive.