Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Godard, I knew you wouldn't let me down.

After the cinematic doldrums of Two or Three Things I Know About Her and Masculin, Feminin (though I admit I need to see them again), Godard redeems himself in my book with the visceral and unapologetic Weekend

The film seems to be divided into two parts; the first being a road film along the lines of a gangster/road film, which I immediately noticed felt like a mix between Crash and a Bonnie and Clyde narrative, while the second half feels like a kind of documentary on a cannibalistic hippie commune.

Godard apparently wanted to offended, and certainly tried his damnedest by filling the film with bloody car crashes (too many to count), violence, actual animal deaths, and cannibalism-images that, though rather tame today, still managed to leave a large impression on the class.

Like many of Godard's later works in the class, I feel I need to watch it again, but I did notice some parallels between Weekend and Ruggero Deodato's exploitation "classic" Cannibal Holocaust, which has the unique distinction of being simultaneously one of the worst and most shocking films I've ever seen. Like Weekend, Holocaust takes place, at least in part, inside cannibal territory. Godard and Deodato both employ graphic scenes of animal violence and use their ultraviolent images to comment on society. But while Deodato cowers behind his gruesome film with a weak message of who the real monsters are, Godard makes a much more impressive and stronger statement about the failings of the bourgeois lifestyle. The live animal killings in both cases (a pig's throat being slit in Weekend, a monkey's face being chopped off with a machete in Holocaust, among others) are unnecessary, but aside from raw snuff, you can't do a better job of shocking your audience.

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