The two films which book-ended Godard’s astonishing fifteen feature run that defined his Nouvelle Vague days arguably remain as his two most emblematic works too; Breathless, which shook the world of cinema like rarely before or since, announced the arrival of this rebel, prophet and polemicist; and with Weekend he spectacularly announced his explosive rapture. Flamboyant, anarchic, lurid, ribald, subversive, provocative, savagely hilarious, reflexive, culturally dense, seething with rage, and deliriously farcical, this work of stunning bravado – Buñuel meets Brecht meets Bukowski meets Warhol – can be read and interpreted in multifarious ways through its wild mix of tones, irreverent mash-up of styles, picaresque interplay between contrasting themes, darkly ingenious surrealist splashes, and riotous burst of manic energy. Roland (Jean Yanne) and Corinne (Mireille Darc) are a bourgoise couple embroiled in respective extra-marital affairs and each conniving the other’s murder post securing an inheritance from the latter’s parents, who they’ve jointly conspired to murder. With that objective in mind they embark on a road trip that goes awry from the start and goes spectacularly downhill thereon, as they get engulfed by chaos, revolution, violence, mayhem and apocalypse. It comprised of three astounding single-take sequences – the most epic of the lot was a blazing near 10-minute tracking shot of an endless traffic jam; and then there was a glorious scene where Corinne seductively recounts a feral orgy, and a lilting sonata sequence while the camera makes multiple 360-degree pans. Deadpan static shots of two Marxist garbage men berating colonialism, oppression and exploitation, a memorably madcap act by a gloriously unfettered Jean-Pierre Léaud, and anarchic hippie revolutionaries who’ve resorted to cannibalism were just some of many unforgettable set-pieces in this unclassifiable masterpiece.
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Genre: Black Comedy/Social Satire/Political Satire/Marital Drama