1964's BAND OF OUTSIDERS has been described by Godard as "Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka." This sentimental, noirish story is about a gullible woman who takes up with couple of would-be bad guys in an ill-fated effort to rob her own home of her aunt's fortune. (The primary relationship in the story may have been the inspiration behind the recent, overlooked and very funny, Bandits.)
Band of Outsiders is weirdly joyous and always surprising with a sense of romantic doom that recalls his most famous gangster romance, Breathless (A Bout de Souffle, 1959).
The story might be simple enough: Arthur and Franz enlist the help of the young, beautiful Odile to stage a robbery. But if the story is simple, everything else around it is not. Here we find allusions and homages to Arthur Rimbaud (the poet whom one of the characters is named after), Franz Kafka, film composer Michel Legrand, "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, American cartoons, Jack London, Charlie Chaplin, Andre Breton, Andre Malraux, and numerous others. That's Godard doing his thing, and even if we miss those allusions, there's so much more to be cherished: the famous minute of silence, the running visit through the Louvre, the dance scene, the glorious closeups of Anna Karina, riding on the underground metro, the trio driving through the streets of Paris.
"Band of Outsiders" is playful, wondrous, hilarious, breezy, but at the same time melancholic, dark in its undertones.Read more ›
There are a few scenes in the film that are quite famous and it's a delight to have seen it. Read more