In a decadent France of the 60s, young French woman Corinne (Mireille Darc) is systematically radicalized during what was to have been a weekend motor trip. No sooner has she and her husband Roland (Jean Yanne) embarked on their journey than they become enmeshed in the mother of all traffic jams. The motorists rave, rant, burn, rape, murder, pillage and even descend into cannibalism. Their journey takes them to strange places with even stranger people.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's the mid 60s in France, where the bourgeois are busy but nonchalant as the plan the deaths of each other for financial gain and betraying lovers or reliving moments of offbeat sexual adventure ... just another day. But the legendary Jean-Luc Godard (this was 1967, 17 years after his classic debut, Breathless) is intent on making this a film of arresting moments strung together into a radical statement, so what the characters are saying and doing is only a part of the film's story. There are signs inserted (eg the word 'Analysis' or "A scene of Parisian life') and some of the shots are deliberately underlit. If it weren't for the soundtrack, there are parts of Weekend that could have been made under the Dogme 95 manifesto of cinematic purity. But made with loathing for its characters.
The dialogue, too, is interesting not for what is being said but how banal and self centred the conversations are; an indictment of his own country's shallow terms of reference, perhaps. Some of the film's elements are challenging or irritating, others are confounding; and even as we peer into the film's dark heart, Godard includes scenes of utter irrelevance.
There is nothing predictable about Weekend; Godard uses the camera as a radical satirical tool, inserting it up the backside of a society he perceives as lost, constrained and confused. And so are we.
Published: March 27, 2008
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WEEKEND: DVD (PG)
CAST: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Valérie Lagrange, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Yves Beneyton
DIRECTOR: Jean-Luc Godard
SCRIPT: Jean-Luc Godard
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Raoul Coutard
EDITOR: Agnès Guillemot
MUSIC: Antoine Duhamel
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
PRESENTATION: 4:3; DD 2.0
SPECIAL FEATURES: tba
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Shock
DVD RELEASE: March 15, 2008
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.