Jean-Luc Godard has directed more than 100 films, but for completists there’s been one title that’s unavailable … until it showed up on YouTube this week. “Une Femme Coquette,” a no-budget short made in 1955 when Godard was 24, was posted on February 15 by user David Heslin, and discovered by our friends over at The A.V. Club.
The film, based on a Guy De Maupassant short story, was Godard’s first shot at a narrative. It’s often listed as lost by biographers, and the find is tremendously significant for French New Wave enthusiasts. There are also several easter eggs in the work for Godard fans: the director cameos two minutes in, the story is later re-adapted in Godard’s 1966 film “Masculin Féminin,” and the work itself is credited to his film-critic pseudonym, Hans Lucas.
Just five years after shooting “Une Femme Coquette,” Godard would release his early masterpiece, “Breathless.” There is so much of the energy of that latter work in this earlier vision, shot on a borrowed 16mm camera.
Check out the short film below: