Weekend (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Weekend marks Godard's nearly-formal break with "bourgeois film-making," i.e., film-making which has as its sole criteria to "entertain" (as in escapism), to engage in linear story-telling, and to reinforce film cliches, formulas, and all the trappings of popular western (and especially American) film-making.
In the movie, the audience witnesses the collapse of the narrative, the disintegration of formal film technique, and--more literally--the degeneration of western civilization. A ten-minute-long traffic jam, the barbarism of pig slaughters and corpses littering the countryside, and the unsympathetic characterizations of the bourgeois couple on whom the film centers (if it does indeed have a center) have not been filmed to entertain, to comfort, or to lull the audience, but to provoke thought, to engage actively, and--quite possibly--to enrage actively as well.
Arriving at a conclusion, being "pretty" or emotional, or arranging details tidily would defeat the purpose of Weekend, which is to illustrate incoherence, savagery, and decline. And, in this regard, perhaps no film has better tampered with the status quo of film-making than Godard's Weekend has.
Also, it must be remembered that Weekend is a reflection, to a great deal, of the turbulence of the sixties, and in particular the student protests in Paris in 1968.Read more ›
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 ›
I've not seen all of Jean-Luc Godard's films, but of those I have seen this is my favorite. The narrative concerns a conventional, middle class, married couple who conspire to take a weekend trip to kill the wife's parents for money.
The car trip taken by the couple is comprised of a series of disastrous, improbable, and perplexing events. Art terrorists, thieves, rapists, and Marxist revolutionaries assail the couple at all turns. France is being overrun by weirdos! Bloody, flaming car (and plane!) crashes are everywhere. Violent demise is at every turn.
In the movie is a famous traffic jam scene that employed what was, up until the time of this movie's making, the longest dolly ever made. The scene is absurd, comical, and one of the delights of the movie. Likewise, Godard was becoming interested in socialist politics at this time in his career, in light of the Vietnam war and anti-colonial struggles that were happening globally, so a lot of "revolutionary" ideas are expressed by characters in the film. Unfortunately Godard most often has people simply read manifestos to the camera. Godard's political interests are thus conveyed in an awkward, cumbersome way. You do not have to agree with they're saying in order to enjoy the film.
Having said that, the movie is still one hell of a ride -- no pun intended. The bourgeois couple at the heart of the story don't care about the flaming chaos around them. They just want their money. At one point the husband even sits idly by as a stranger rapes his wife.
As a journey narrative of two people, WEEKEND (or is it WEEK END?)is reminiscent of Alejandro Jodorwosky's 1968 FANDO & LIS. (There was something in the water in the late 60s.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've seen "Breathless", "Pierrot le Fou", and "Vivre sa Vie", and while Godard's work doesn't really resonate with me, I found plenty of things in those... Read morePublished 7 months ago by farington
This is pretty dark/ anarchic movie. Knowing it was from Jean-Luc Godard, I should not have been surprised. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. J. Rollins
Some parts were funny, most of it was tedious and drawn out. First scenes of man and woman talking were BORING. Read morePublished on February 7, 2014 by Barbara
TOP NOTCH ALL THE WAY!!! GREAT STUFF!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA++++++++++++++++++Published on December 14, 2013 by David
Jean Luc Godard has made many pictures for us. "Weekend" stands alone (is that possible?) amongst Godard's flicks. Read morePublished on June 9, 2013 by Richard Faust
godard's bunuellian take on rich french families taking a weekend in the country. the scene with a young marxist couple crashing up against the rural mindset and a big tractor is... Read morePublished on May 31, 2013 by kent clark
Weekend is an explosive and creative work by the famed Jean-Luc Godard, a story of the apocalypse framed in an Alice in Wonderland-esque format. Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by ItReviewsEverything
I read somewhere that Salvador Dali once said to some journalist: "Do you know why I am so rich? Because there are so many stupid people in the world!". Read morePublished on May 9, 2013 by Yoselovich Boris
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