Synopsis by Michael Buening
Une histoire d'eau , also known as A Story of Water , was one of five shorts Jean-Luc Godard made in collaboration with his Cahiers du Cinema cohorts in the late '50s and early '60s, prior to embarking on feature films. François Truffaut originally wrote and directed this short, about a girl trying to get to Paris from the flooded outlying countryside, but decided not to finish it. He gave the footage to Jean-Luc Godard, who re-edited it and added his own narration. The young woman, simply known as Elle (Caroline Dim), must first get out of her house, balancing on boards and exposed spots of land. She meets a young man, Lui (Jean-Claude Brialy), who offers her a ride in his car. The action concentrates on their physical comedy, conversation, and Godard's lightly philosophical commentary and their screwball journey becomes a celebration of intelligent fun. Truffaut makes great wide-angle use of the actually flooded Parisian countryside of the time. The structure, the narration, the striking open/claustrophobic visual style all work perfectly and in playful tone the short is a precursor to Bande à part. It is dedicated to Mack Sennett.