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Band of Outsiders (The Criterion Collection) [Import]
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Two restless young men (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) enlist the object of their desire (Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery--in her own home. French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard takes to the streets of Paris to re-imagine the gangster genre, spinning an audacious yarn that's at once sentimental and insouciant, romantic and melancholy
Described by its maker, Jean-Luc Godard, as "Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka," this 1964 film noir stars Anna Karina as a naive woman who takes up with couple of would-be bad guys (Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey) in a disastrous effort to rob her aunt of a fortune. Along the way, the motley group joins the Godardian (and Hollywood gangster) tradition of characters who walk a line between reality and invention, in this case distracting themselves by running around the Louvre, taking a stab at learning English, stumbling through some dance steps, and reenacting the death of Billy the Kid. A uniquely spontaneous work in Godard's canon, Band of Outsiders also continues the Brechtian strain in the director's merged relationship with Karina, his then-wife and artistic muse. Yet it is also more buoyantly unpredictable in its sense of romantic doom than any of the director's movies since his seminal debut, Breathless (also a gangster film, not coincidentally). --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
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).
Lots of extras are incredibly insightful, including the booklet (a feature that many studios do not think of as a $B!F(Bsupplement$B!G(B). Godard and everyone else that worked on this movie should be proud the way this has been preserved for future generations. This IS Nouvelle Vague, a movie that reinvented the medium, but lost in the shuffle over the years.
And with an incredibly low list price for a Criterion release, this DVD should not stay on store shelves. If you buy or rent it, you will love it. Guaranteed
Most recent customer reviews
Saw this the other day. Didn't know it was Godard classic. The Dance Scene, I didn't want it to end. Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by R. A Rubin
This is classic Godard here. This is a very fun and entertaining film.
There are a few scenes in the film that are quite famous and it's a delight to have seen it. Read more
Band of Outsiders is easily Godard's most accessible and most enjoyable film. This is early 60's New Wave spirited, movie convention bashing Godard, not the abstract inpenatratably... Read morePublished on March 16 2004 by Lee Buchenau
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