PHOTOBOOTHS IN MOVIES & TV

Masculin, fÚminin

Jean-Luc Godard (France, 1966, 103 min.)

Paul (Jean-Pierre Leaud), fresh out of national service in the Army, starts a relationship with Madeleine, a pop singer, in Godard's free-form narrative.

After Madeleine and her friend Elizabeth leave Paul at a bar after a night of dancing, a girl at the bar asks him if he wants to take photos with her in the nearby photo booth. He agrees, and they enter the booth together. She offers to take her shirt off for money, but he doesn't have enough. She accepts his counter-offer, so to speak, but when she says "No hands," he refuses and leaves the booth. We see two flashes of the photo booth camera, but never see the photos.

Of all the films which feature photo booths, Godard's is the only one which neither takes us inside the booth, nor shows us the photos afterwards. This distancing feels appropriate in light of the somewhat arms-length approach of the film as a whole, but makes the images presented here a little less interesting. Only the subtitles give an indication as to what is happening in the booth.

Thanks to Dan for the tip on this appearance, to Allan for the video capture card, and to Hollywood Express for still renting videotapes.

Contributed by Brian

Paul's friends leave, and two other girls arrive. One leaves as soon as she gets there, and the other makes a proposal to Paul.
Into the booth they go.
Three poses for one franc, ready in three minutes.
Paul's always got the cigarette, either in his mouth or trying to get it there by flipping it in and catching it with his lips.
The curtain closes.
Without subtitles, this is all we would see for the majority of the scene: the view from the outside.
Step one: the proposal.
Step two: the counter-proposal. A flash goes off.
Step three: the caveat. Another flash.
Step four: calling it off.
The curtain opens, and they don't even bother to wait for the photos.
Paul leaves the photobooth.
He heads next door to the recording booth to make a record for Madeleine.