As a pioneer for La Nouvelle Vague, French-Swiss film director, Jean-Luc Godard, has continued to create films imbued with dark satire that often defy traditional narrative structures. He rarely shies away from incorporating heavy political elements in his work, and La Chinoise (1967) and Tout va bien (1972) are a testament to that.
Continuing his work with the neo-noir movement, Weekend (1967) presents the audience with a picaresque story of a bourgeois couple, Roland (Jeanne Yanne) and Corrine (Mireille Darc). Both embark on a trip to meet Corrine’s father, in hope that his death will feed their hunger for money, through inheritance. However, in the case of her father not dying, murder is a potential option.
Along the way, they are faced with a number of peculiar characters as well as a raucous car accident, events which make the film seem improvised and collaged. An occurrence, which is most bizarre, is when the couple are captured by an anarchist hippie gang who make a living through thievery and cannibalism. Roland offers them half of their inheritance in lieu of their capture, but they reject it, perfectly displaying Godard’s contempt for capitalist society. After Roland tries to escape, they grab him, cut him to pieces and barbarically cook him for their next meal.
Godard’s disdain for the 1960’s class politics is blatantly evident in this epic. He says, “The horror of the bourgeoisie can only be overcome by more horror.” However, does this mean that the film-maker also despises counter-culture? Given that the portrayal of the hippies was similar to that of the bourgeoisie, this is most likely the case.
director JEAN-LUC GODARD
director of photography RAOUL COUTARD
cast MIREILLE DARC, JEAN YANNE, JEAN-PIERRE KALFON
words PRIYESH PATEL
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