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Weekend (Version française) [Import]
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Jean-Luc Godard and Luis Buñuel enjoyed an ardent misanthropic duel in the '60s and '70s, but who won is anyone's call. Godard's Weekend lays down the trump in a harrowing and darkly funny allegory in which social mores fray along political lines. Played out in a metafilm in which characters question their own reality, a morally bankrupt Parisian couple tries to leave the city on a much-loathed country holiday with the wife's parents. Along the way, endless traffic jams, sudden violence, and vistas of gory car crashes underscore their corrupted values. Their lethal encounter with the in-laws and kidnap by an anarchic band of radical cannibals finds the couple--and presumably "decent" society with them--reverting to a nasty primitivism. The idea is of course that the bored, apathetic heart of the bourgeoisie is never far from acting out its most homicidal fantasies. --Alan E. Rapp --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Week-End is one of the defining films of the 20th Century. Born out of the nouvelle vague cinema (French New Wave), this is the terrible birth that is brought to light from J.L.Godard's obsession with prophesising the destruction and decline of the West. Even after taking into account his overt political messages, Weekend still exist as one of the most technically revolutionary pieces of cinema to emerge from his studios into a blinding glare of publicity and hostility.
Not content with depicting the destruction of western commercial values, Godard disrupts the visual narrative by interspersing film titles, book titles and music onto a background of patriotic red, white and blue colours. From a personal perspective, one of the most impressive sequences is an eight minute long tracking-shot of the Parisian highway which progresses from straightforward traffic jams to car-wrecks and the inevitable symbol of multinational Capitalism, a Shell oil truck. Essentially Week-End marks the 'Maoist period' of Godard's film-making career, during which he declared that 'the only way to be a revolutionary intellectual is to give up being an intellectual.'
Starring Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne, Week-End's fabular narrative is a weekend journey from Paris to Normandy which slowly becomes an apocalyptic struggle against the French peasant revolutionaries who continually intervene to prevent the couple meeting Darc's mother in order to find out whether they have successfully poisoned her father.Read more ›
When Corinne and Roland hit the road in their flashy Facel Vega to kill Corinne's parents for the money (secretly planning to kill the other later on) they run among others into an endless traffic jam and a guerilla to witness the end of civilization. Godard's last traditional movie until 1980 is a Cassandra against uninhibited materialism and future Pol Pots.
Consider the scene where the woman has the monologue in her panties and bra, how she leads up such telling, informatory details to a payoff that gives as a reminder of the Walken scene in Pulp Fiction (though he is the better actor). Or in other times the comedy is in the sense of a Godard satire of his past work - the traffic set piece(s) gets the viewer to feel in the mood of the car he so pacingly follows, even as it becomes relentlessly obnoxious and tense, and acts like every other driver on the streets of the cities of America.
However that, and a moment of argument over a corpse in the passenger seat (he cuts to the faces of the onlookers who happen to find such dialogue rather amusing), show by the time Godard reached this stage in his career he wasn't taking himself and his work 100 % seriously, though that's not to say that the element of the woman's path to guerilla-hood isn't a serious topic. For his art film die-hards he also uses a peculiar, non-linear style in story-telling- an added advantage for a week-end timepiece.Read more ›
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