EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|WEEKEND (director/writer: Jean-Luc Godard; cinematographer: Raoul Coutard; editor: Agnes Guillemot; music: Antoine Duhamel; cast: Mireille Darc (Corinne Durand), Jean Yanne (Roland Durand), Jean-Pierre Kalfon (Ernest), Valerie Lagrange (Ernest’s Girlfriend), Jean-Pierre Leaud (Saint-Just); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; New Yorker Video; 1967-France-in French with English subtitles)|
absurdist dark comedy, Western
society never looked so sickening on film."
by Dennis Schwartz
daring politically motivated experimental film by
French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard ("Hail
Mary"/"Breathless"/"Alphaville") still holds up well
aggressive, unlikable, married bourgeois couple (Mireille Darc & Jean Yanne) leave Paris to
drive to the country to visit his dying father in
Oinville and get caught in a massive traffic jam, car
crashes, burning vehicles, roadside corpses, violence,
destruction and even cannibalism. The film's memorable
traffic jam, a 10-minute tracking shot, captures Godard's
vision of the middle-class world in a state of
collapse--which mirrors Hell. When the hearty but
helpless consumerist couple take to the back roads and
run into murderous, kidnapping, pillaging and rapist
Maoist hippies, a bunch of French revolutionaries of
the Nationalist Liberation Front, who live in the
woods, the film becomes too much and weakens. But not
before it issues an all-out attack on consumerism,
class warfare and the horrors of conventional life.
It's a Swiftian satire made to upset Godard's producers, commercial viewers and, of course, the bourgeois. In the absurdist dark comedy, Western society never looked so sickening on film. It signals Godard's retreat from commercial film-making and from ever again drawing a large audience, though it's considered an historical breakthrough film in cinema history and a favorite of avant-garde cinema lovers.
REVIEWED ON 3/28/2013 GRADE: A-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ