Godard’s freewheeling portrait of “the children of Marx and Coca-Cola”—a generation caught between capitalist pleasures and socialist ideals—stars Léaud as a young, self-styled radical-intellectual as he becomes involved in an on-again, off-again relationship with an aspiring yé-yé girl (Chantal Goya). The director depicts Paris as both a modern playland of arcades, discotheques, and pop music, and a simmering hotbed of political unrest and random acts of violence. Sporting short hair, wearing his traditional suit, and chain-smoking cigarettes, Jean-Pierre Léaud channels the turbulent atmosphere of the time as he delivers an impassioned monologue in a record-your-own-voice booth, whistles Bach in a café, and discusses the myriad synonyms for “buttocks” in bed.