Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jean-Luc Godard: Weekend

At times jarring but with occasionally merciful interludes, Jean-Luc Godard's Weekend (1967) is probably not the movie you'd want to see when seeking pleasant entertainment or respite from the world-as-it-is. In fact, Weekend is often brutal, a focused reflection of the modern world (right up to now), a devastating critique, an assault on the senses epitomized by noisy traffic jams and discordant honking, kicking and screaming people, burning vehicles and sporadic gunfire. Tortuous, but thoughtfully so, underscored by a memorable soundtrack and dynamic intertitles.

Now that I've gone through Godard's and Luis Buñuel's films of the 1960s and 1970s, it's striking to me how much the two directors seem to play off each other's imagery and verve.  Buñuel's "search trilogy" -- La Voie Lactée/The Milky Way (1968),  Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie / The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) and Le Fantôme de la liberté / The Phantom of Liberty (1974) -- come across as meditations and visions inspired by Weekend, which itself was at least partly riffing from Buñuel's earlier El ángel exterminador / The Exterminating Angel (1962). Buñuel is a little less harsh in delivery, if not content.   

Today's Rune: Protection.


Charles Gramlich said...

I think I prefer Jean-Luc Picard.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Have never seen this one.