Monday, April 03, 2006

Week End

Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Length: 105 min.
Country: France
Format: 35mm
Date Viewed: 18 March, 2006

Some critics point to Week End as the turning point in Jean-Luc Godard's career: the film where he turned his back on making "Hollywood-esque" films and delved deep into art and theory. I say he did this one-year earlier with his brilliant Masculine, Feminine (one of only two Godard films I like - the other being Band of Outsiders), but that's a judgement call.

It is interesting that Masculine, Feminine works so well in its lack of form and heavy politicalization while being paradoxically made purposefully uninteresting and yet being endlessly fascinating. It is more interesting in contrast with Weekend, which shares its predecessor's lack of form and heavy politicization, but works hard to make the events contained within exciting and entertaining. It largely fails.

There are some funny moments (especially Jean-Pierre Leaud's cameo), and some interesting ideas, but overall, the film is complete mess of pretension and dull diatribes that go nowhere. Godard has much to say, but, much like Michael Moore, can't focus his ideas and gives us a uselessly fractured film. By the end, it's hard to know what's happening, but by then, it's near impossible to care. All we know is we've gotten an onslaught of theories and politics over 105 dreadfully long minutes, dressed up whore-like with its garish outfit consisting of automobile accidents, guns, immolation, rape and cannibalism (it's the apocalypse, you see), every bit as off-putting as it sounds.

The film is critically acclaimed (there are no negative reviews for it on Rotten Tomatoes), but I can't for the life of me figure out why.


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