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Weekend

3.6 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The master of the French New Wave indicts consumerism and elaborates on his personal vision of Hell with this raucous, biting satire. A nasty, scheming bourgeois Parisian couple embarks on a journey through the countryside to her father's house, where they pray for his death and a subsequent inheritance. Their trip is at first delayed, and later it is distracted by several outrageous events and characters including an apocalyptic traffic jam, a group of fictional philosophers, a couple of violent carjackers, and eventually, a gross display of cannibalism. By the time the film concludes, their seemingly simple journey has deteriorated into a freewheeling philosophical diatribe that leaves no topic unscathed. With WEEKEND, Jean-Luc Godard reaches an impressive plateau of film originality, incorporating inter-titles, extended tracking shots, and music to add an entirely new grammar to film language. The result is a deeply challenging work that will most certainly invigorate some viewers just as much as it will as frustrate others. Standout highlights include a jarring, sexually graphic opening monologue shot with a roaming camera and blaring musical accompaniment, and the infamous traffic jam scene, where an endless parade of cars sit bumper to bumper amidst burning cars, picnics, and honking horns. The work of a true artist and pioneer, Godard's WEEKEND is a landmark film that hasn't aged or lessened in impact over time.

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by Critic David Sterritt
  • Interview with Raoul Coutard
  • Mike Figgis on "Weekend"
  • Biographies of Jean-Luc Godard, Cinematographer Raoul Coutard, Film Director Mike Figgis and Prof. Colin MacCabe
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Scene Selections

Product Details

  • Actors: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Karl Marx, Yves Afonso
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard, Julio Cortázar
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Anamorphic
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 23, 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NZ6RA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,042 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Weekend" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The review on this page which claims that Weekend is one of the worst films ever missed the point and was not apparently, given the reviewer's qualms with the movie, the intended audience for the film.
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.
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By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
An utterly brilliant pastiche from Godard. JLG gives us a nightmarish vision of contemporary bourgeois society in which the apocalypse takes on the form of a series of bloody car wrecks and cannibalistic revolutionaries running wild. Even the scenes that don't work, like the bizarre encounter with Emily Bronte and Louis Carroll and the 18th-century French revolutionary reading a political tract, are forgiveable simply because they only add to the anarchic nature of the film. How many other movies have you seen that feature a woman screaming before a horrific car accident because she left her handbag inside, or a speech on Hitlerism and African slavery intercut with clips of traffic jams?
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Format: VHS Tape
With influences ranging from Freud to Marx, De Sade and Eisenstein having walk-on roles and the Parisian weekend transformed into an allegorical bourgeois hell,
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.
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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 films to hold my interest. The only interesting thing in "Weekend" is the long shot of the traffic jam. The rest of it, well, I know that Godard was anti-technique and high concept, but it seems that a lot of this film suffers from self-conscious, badly executed moments--moments when the viewer says, "Okay, I get it, the actors are referring to the fact they're in a film, and the film's referring to the fact it's a film", but it's so flat and contrived that you wonder why the idea was expressed in a film rather than an essay. This becomes especially true toward the end, when dialogue gives way to readings of political manifestos. I would think that films would be able to express things that words don't, but here we just have people in front of a camera reading something we could as easily read ourselves. I actually couldn't make it to the end, I stopped about 10 minutes after the Maoist kidnappers entered the scene. Maybe it has a big finish that redeems the rest of the film.
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