13 August 2003 | Infofreak
Truly extraordinary! inspired 1960s anarchic weirdness. The only Godard movie I REALLY enjoy.
I have a lot of problems with Godard's movies. I don't dispute that he is one of the great innovators of modern film making and 'Breathless' is certainly one of the few movies that changed cinema forever. But I don't really ENJOY watching 'Breathless' all that much , 'Bande a part' mostly bored me stupid , and 'Alphaville' is interesting for the most part but not exactly the most entertaining movie ever made... 'Week End' however is one of the few Godard movies I actually watch and LIKE and recommend. For most people it is one of his most difficult movies but I didn't find that to be the case. Anyone who enjoys surreal movies like those of Bunuel ('The Exterminating Angel' is name-dropped in 'Week End') or David Lynch or Peter Greenaway's underrated gem 'The Falls', or even vintage Monty Python will find this movie utterly fascinating. Corinne (Mireille Darc) and Roland (Jean Yanne) are two awful characters, almost proto-yuppies, who go on a drive to the country to weedle some money out of Corinne's parents. They immediately find themselves caught in a nightmarish traffic jam, and after that the movie get progressively weirder. Someone (I think it's Roland) says "this movie is rotten. All we meet are insane characters" (I'm paraphrasing). And that about nails it. We see Emily Bronte and fictional characters interact with Corinne and Roland, rape, murder, violence, revolution and all kinds of strangeness. The movie was released in 1967, best know as the Summer Of Love and the height of flower power, but Godard anticipates the darkness and despair of 1968 and 1969 when The Stones sang "the time is right for bloody revolution", The Stooges "1969 okay, war across the USA", The Doors "we want the world and we want it now!". 'Week End' is the anarchic side of the 1960s, not the peace'n'love'n' Woodstock 1960s. In many ways the movie is years ahead of its time anticipating (as did 'Alphaville') postmodernism. It can be difficult viewing at times, sometimes a bit frustrating if you prefer a conventional narrative, but I really really like it, and there's just nothing quite like it anywhere. If I was going to put some 1960s movies in a time capsule for future generations I would include 'Week End' alongside 'A Hard Day's Night', 'The Trip', 'Blow Up', 'Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!', 'Easy Rider', 'If...', 'Psycho', 'El Topo', 'Performance' and one or two others. Highly recommended inspired anarchic weirdness!