Jean-Luc Godard is, quite possibly, the greatest director of all time. I know, that is a hefty title to heap on any individual, but every film I see by the master is better than the last and just further cements in my minds eye his staggering genius.
`Weed End' is no exception.
Godard frequently used his artistic approach to elaborate on the political dilemmas facing his country at that given time, and the Parisian 60's were a ripe canvas for Godard's superior sense of cinematic vision. The life of the bourgeois (for an interesting read, check out the Wikipedia page for `bourgeoisie', which will enlighten you on the very culture with which Godard pointed his camera lens) is dissected with brash statements that firmly underscore a point of view towards the political situations they found themselves in, using vivid and ridiculously obscene imagery and dialog to drive home the absurdity of the moment.
One, two, three, four...
The film revolves around a young Parisian couple who is sifting in their own moral callousness, each individual party possessing disturbed ideals and ideas. The two embark on a dreaded weekend with the wife's parents, where they fantasize about the demise of her father so as to reap the benefits of his will. Along the way they are bombarded with events out of their control that only serve to further embellish their misplaced priorities.
When their car is engulfed in flames, the cries for the loss of a handbag place a bold exclamation-point at the end of this couples `description'.
The absurdity of the film engulfs itself, really piling one ridiculous moment on top of the other, but all in a way that thrives within the context of the film. Godard was never a mainstream director, but he also created art pieces that told a story, that elaborated on truths not willingly admitted by those around him. Godard understood that filmmaking was a gift, a gift to be used as a tool to instill something in others. In all of his works, he did that very thing. With exaggerated sequences that uses unending tracking shots to create a feeling of uneasiness in the viewer (the never-ending traffic jam is one of many), Godard splashed visual wizardry on the screen and imprinted his political satire on the minds of the audience. Some have noted that Godard was a distant or cold director, but I find that aspect of his work endearing, for it sharply places a sense of realism in his wildly imaginative take on reality. There is nothing within `Week End' that appears real. In fact, even the protagonists here question their reality. The sequences (which involve, among other things, murder and cannibalism) all wear the stain of the absurd and yet they feel remarkably `honest' thanks to the `cold' approach that Godard takes. By stepping away from the characters and the moments and delivering a nonchalant take, he inserts a frigid sense of reality that makes this pill a lot easier to swallow.