Saturday, April 9, 2011


Jean-Luc Godard is another big name from that French new wave period, and I think this is his best known work. It's about a French guy who spends a lot of time with an American girl while on the run from the cops after he kills one for finding him in a stolen car. He doesn't seem to care very much about the crime or the chances of getting caught, and is much more interested in getting the girl in bed again. It's a pretty nihilistic movie, one where the two main characters seem unrealistic but are often pretty fascinating to watch as they just talk for minutes on end or ponder their next moves. Lead Jean-Paul Belmondo as an easy charm despite his despicable actions, though the real highlight of the film is Jean Seberg's performance as the girl. I couldn't tell if she was using her regular voice or intentionally putting on an American accent, which was sometimes distracting. But the character and her allure were still very strong.

The editing style is pretty unique for the time period, using jump cuts within a shot in a way that feels very modern. I'm not sure if it was a deliberate style choice from the beginning or a way to get past small mistakes on a cheap budget, but either way it gives the movie its own feel. The ending is very suitable for the film's bleak tone, and it's a pretty quick film that brings the audience into its own harsh world view before ending and letting them go on their way. I didn't find it to be a very likable movie, though it had funny moments and does what it attempts effectively. It doesn't really want to be likable, which for me limits how much I can really care about, but is a somewhat admirable stance to take.

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