Monday, June 26, 2017


Over the weekend I saw Weekend (1967).  I'd seen bits of it before, but never all the way through.

If you know anything about it, you know it's the film with the eight-minute tracking shot of a traffic jam.  It was, I believe, Jean-Luc Godard's last film as a leader of the "New Wave" before he denounced cinema as bourgeois and went off in even weirder directions.  Some call it a classic.

I responded to the film the same way I do to most of Godard's work in the 60s.  There is a plot of sorts, but since the people in it don't act like any people who have ever lived, it's impossible to care about them, or the story.  There are some fun moments, but overall, for all its violence and fiery rhetoric (a fair amount of the film consists of speeches filled with revolutionary claptrap), it doesn't add up to much.

Short excerpts of this stuff can be fun, but as a feature it gets tiresome pretty quickly.  I admit his stuff is so offbeat it can be memorable, but that doesn't mean its entertaining. As to being edifying, it isn't, but I wouldn't care if it were.

There are plenty who defend Godard.  They think the problem is others don't get him.  They're can think what they want.  I think he's the emperor's new clothes.


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