The subtitle for Jean-Luc Godard’s “A Married Woman” is “Fragments of a Film Shot in 1964, in Black and White,” which is true in more ways than one. In the early scenes, and repeatedly throughout the film, all we see on the screen is pieces of two lovers’ bodies – hands reaching for each other, lips whispering into an ear, a naked torso.
The effect is erotic — Godard skirts the edge of censor-worrying nudity without slipping over — but unsettling, as we never get a clear full-length shot of these two people together. After the free-wheeling camerawork of “Breathless” and “Band of Outsiders,” the rigorous formality of these shots feels constrained. The people seem pinned inside the frame like specimens, with Godard (and us) watching their lovemaking from an almost clinic distance.