Godard

635. Weekend

Weekends are two days long. And so, here is part two of my special WEEKEND double feature!

I’m not even going to try saying anything too insightful about Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 film WEEKEND, the film that declares itself to be “the end of cinema.” It’s a sprawling, violent, scathing, traffic-jam of a film, following a loathsome bourgeois couple as they cross the French countryside to claim a dying father’s inheritance. The world, as Godard envisions it, is an endless road to nowhere, littered with flaming car wrecks, corpses, and cultural debris. Mixed into this are long Marxist tirades and revolutionary manifestos, which may possibly be the most heartfelt segments of the film, but I wouldn’t know because they’re so tedious they’re nearly unwatchable. Other scenes are much more entertaining, and many of them are darkly hilarious, and it probably says something that the most enjoyable bits are also the most violent and satirical. But as I said, on this one, I’m leaving the analysis to others.

weekend1967

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25. Alphaville

Part film noir, part french new wave, and part dystopian sci-fi, ALPHAVILLE comes off as stylish and schizophrenic.  Lemmy Caution is a spy from the Outerlands who has just made the intergalactic journey to Alphaville.  His mission is to assassinate the scientist who created Alpha 60, the super computer that runs every aspect of the city on strict logic, including its inhabitants.  Along the way he meets Natasha, the scientist’s daughter who does not know the words “conscience” or “love” because they are no longer in the bible—which is actually a dictionary.  All of this plot, however, is almost secondary to the film.  At the forefront is Jean-Luc Godard’s beguiling and distinctive directorial choices, and the creepy philosophical musings of the computer itself.  Although confusing at times, the bizarre juxtaposition of disparate genres and imagery is what makes this film so memorable.