Thursday, December 4, 2008


Weekend is, as was stated in class, Godard’s farewell to, and obliteration of, his personal cinematic persona and tendencies which preceded it. It is brutal and outrageous, almost apocalyptic in nature—surely in imagery. With the relentless motif of mangled and burning cars and bodies apparent in nearly every scene, the world of the bourgeois is imploding, self-destructing. Catalyzing, and (literally) feeding on this destruction is a group of strange, hippie terrorists, who capture, rape, kill, and cannibalize members of bourgeois society. The film is composed largely of many long, continuous, uncut shots.

One in particular is an excruciatingly long tracking shot of a traffic jam, in which we follow the couple (the main characters) as they slowly make their way through it by simply driving on the wrong side of the road. This shot seems to take us through the heart of bourgeois society, with the endless stream of motionless cars standing discernibly for the breadth and consuming nature of commercialism, and their stagnation for the anti-progress thereof, all of this leading to ultimate demise, for the cause, as we eventually find, is a brutal car accident which has left dead bodies strewn about, with one woman literally cut in half. Also, as a cinematic construction this scene works well—it becomes a sort of miniature version of the film itself, with the main characters encountering a number of different people along the path of their trip.

If not enjoyable in the conventional sense, this film was nonetheless visually affecting and often quite shocking—causing me for the first time in ages to actually cover my eyes in viewing during the shot of the slaughter of the pig and chicken. Because I am nowhere near as passionately anti-bourgeois or politically engaged or activated as Godard, it is hard for me to say I enjoyed the film. Cinematically, however, the experimental nature and filmic constructs did interest me, and the images did indeed repulse me to a certain degree, and if that was his intention, the film seems to be a success.

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