March 28, 2014

Film Friday: "Weekend" Review

French auteur and director Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 film Weekend is a remarkable commentary on bourgeois society.  I will do my best to explain the general plot of this film, but fair warning: the reason Jean-Luc Godard is an avant-garde auteur stems from his counter-cinema stance, where he twists classic filmic techniques to the extreme.

For instance, from the very first sequence we see an inter-title that says "this film was found in a dump."  Clearly this denotes the quality of the film as sub-par, but as a self-aware inter title, it begins to foreground the processes of creating the film rather than providing a transparent story with a seamless production.  At other points, the film is also self-referential.  And that's what adds to the absurdity and hilarity of the entire film.

Generally, the film follows the story of a married couple as they travel to meet their father.  We soon learn, though, that the two are only interested in his inheritance and wish him to die quickly.  Cruel, right?  Even crueler acts of violence are committed by them or in their precense, making for a very interesting film that chooses moments of extreme violence to comment on society.  The images are extremely powerful and I already know I will never forget the eight minute-long continuous shot of the two driving through a traffic jam.  That's right, that involves cars honking for eight. consecutive. minutes.

One scene that was particularly amusing was the one pictured above.  The main characters got into a car crash and yet all the woman can shriek about is her Hermès handbag.  Forget about her husband lying on the ground in distress. My classmate told me that a similar instance happened with Kim Kardashian and her losing an earring in the ocean.  Apparently one of Kim's sister tried to reason with her and say, "Kim, there are children starving in Africa."  For this reason, I would argue this film remains completely culturally relevant and worthy of your time!

I'm glad we watched this for my Oppositional Cinemas course, though to be honest I haven't seen the very ending yet.  But as we also discussed, Wes Anderson's film style was heavily influenced by Godard.  The portraits of characters, the titling of "chapters" and other elements are particularly reminiscent of The Royal Tenenbaums (2001).

4/5 stars

P.S. I'm seeing Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel tonight!  Should I review that for next week?


  1. i've wanted to see something of his because of his relation with anna karina. quite interesting.

    yes, please do a grand budapest review!

  2. I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel a few weeks ago. I really liked it. The cast is great, the movie is quirky overall, and the color palette is spot on. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the film.