Band of Outsiders (The Criterion Collection)
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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 ›
As with all early Godard, the joy of 'Band' is in the bouyant playfulness of his style - the high, long shots looking down on bustling activity; the long car-journeys through Paris streets; the intense close-ups on Anna Karina (Godard's wife), eluding all meaning, or the sheer rapture in watching her running along pavements, or crossing a river; the messing around disused yards; the lengthy quotes and allusions that stall the action and give resonance to the silly goings-on and the turmoil of the characters in them; the unwavering long takes with exciting real sound; the playful homages to old Hollywood; the narrator's bumptious intrusions, equating events with 'bad B-movies'.
More than Louis Malle's 'Zazie dans le metro', 'Band' is the ultimate Raymond Queneau film - Karina's character is named after the heroine of Queneau's roman a clef 'Odile', a book about the writer's break with the Surrealists, just as 'Band' signals Godard's outpacing the New Wave - with its deadpan marginal heroes, its elusive heroine who doesn't want to be elusive; its romanticising Paris, especially its margins and its pull to the embankments; the attractions like circuses and funfairs intruding on the everyday. Godard finds a cinematic equivalent for Queneau's narrative voice - its flip melancholy; its casual intellectualism; its move from messing about to the philosophical to slapstick to dreams to the tragic and back again; in the self-consciousness of the characters; in the narrative mix of whim, genre and destiny.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“Bande à part" means ‘Band of outsiders’ and was made in earthy black and white in 1964. It has been hailed as a masterpiece and Quentin Tarrantino lists it as one of... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Tommy Dooley
More like Truffaut than Godard's usual bull. Has an actual story, with cute sequences. Enjoyable to watch.Published 9 months ago by 60's culture vulture
I had a hard time getting a hold on this, and of course, I understand that it shouldn't be judged by the criteria of standard "realism," but all the same, I feel that some sense of... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Stanley Crowe
I love tjhis so much ' I can only say make sure you have enough change for the jukebox . And the glory of Sami Frey's hat . And the narrative poetry .Published 18 months ago by Ralph H Thompson
Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 film "Bandè a part" (sometimes titled "Band of Outsiders") is an adaptation of a American crime novel that transcends its pulp origins... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Christopher Culver
I usually enjoy French crime movies, but this supposedly great film by Godard is meandering and pointless. Read morePublished on February 7, 2013 by Glenn Gallagher
This movie is replete with brilliant moments, gorgeous B&W (mostly grey) photography in Paris and a desolate suburb, and wonderful music, but still manages to be a mess. Read morePublished on March 4, 2012 by Walter J. Jamieson Jr.
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