Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Bande à part
Bande à part, 1964
Dir: Jean-Luc Godard
July 3, 2009
Netflix Wakefield MA
Godard goes back to where he started; back to restless young men who have watched too many American gangster movies and find out that life, in it's own cruel way, can be terribly cinematic. Bande a Part (Band of Outsiders) plays on American movies, French language, and the pining after young women in the sweet, melancholy tone of Godard's best films. You know, just by how the characters act, that things will never happen the way they plan.
The two young men (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) both find themselves yearning for the attention a very pretty but naive girl (Anna Karina, in probably her best performance yet). When they find out that a lot of money is being stored in the house where she lives, the score is on. They enlist her help through some cajoling, and until the right time comes, they just have to waste it; time, that is.
From trying to break the record for fastest time to see all of the Louvre (held by an American, of course) to the extended dance scene in the cafe, the film is filled with the restless tension and cavalier attitudes of men who are only thinking about the now, and the heartbreakingly gullible girl who gets caught up in their act. A post-modern classic, and Godard's best since Breathless (If anyone has a fantastic opinion of Contempt, fine. I thought it was very good; that's it).
This is a good reference to my next review, also a gangster flick. Coming Soon.