Wednesday, January 11, 2012

01-06-12: Everbody's Working for the Weekend

WEEK END (1967) (Unrated) 105 mins. *** (French with English Subtitles) D: Jean-Luc Godard. Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Kalfon.

A married couple's trip to the country turns into an bizarre, violent and disturbing journey into madness.

Until now I have never seen a film by Jean-Luc Godard. Had I seen this film, "Week End", twenty years ago I would have deemed it as a piece of crap. My mind as a film goer would not have been in the right mindset to wrap my brain around where Godard was taking his audience. I wouldn't have had the patience nor would have put forth the effort to actually "Think" while watching a movie.

Once "Week End" begins you wonder where it is going. From a minor fender-bender that escalates into a moment of unexpected comic violence to its coda over a woman eating, the film serves as Godard's commentary on society, American culture and anything else that comes to mind. The film is quite funny at times more for the absurdity of a given situation then guffaws. It can also be quite disturbing. There is an epic tracking shot that follows a traffic jam. Throughout the sounds of car horns is blaring and after awhile it becomes very annoying. All the time you are wondering what is causing this jam and every time you think the answer is being revealed it isn't and when the cause is shown you are left stunned.

This is just a small sample of how things unfold throughout the film. As a viewer I was not prepared to sit through a social/history lesson which probably explains why I liked the film but wasn't in love with it. However, I must say it is a stroke of brillance that he made this film knowing that it would be so divisive. It's not for everyone. It wasn't for me but it still didn't prevent me from enjoying it.

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