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  • I gave this movie a 10 out of 10. I expect many people would feel hard-pressed to give it a 2 on the same scale, and I honestly wouldn't blame those who do. "Week End" is a machine built to provoke, and perhaps irritation as well as admiration can be a measure of such a machine's success.

    For myself, I love it. It boils with anger, frustration, and insane energy. In one sense, it approaches film like the Cubists approached painting, breaking down images, ideas, characters and plot into startlingly photographed, almost geometric segments. But where the Cubists were to content to experiment with form Godard's instincts stay furiously political; it's as though an early Picasso had been commandeered and refitted by George Grosz.

    Arrogance is not always a drawback, as rock and roll fans know-- and "Week End" is a terribly arrogant film. The director trashes every convention that he can think of. It's all thrown together-- music, dialogue, on-screen text, unvarnished political theory, frightening violence-- onto a bare hook of a plot: a young, apparently soulless couple go on a week-end trip in the middle of what appears to be the end of Western civilization. Without apologies Godard throws this mess on the table and asks the rest of us, "What have you got to match it?"

    Sadly, not much. Cinema as an art has regressed rather than advanced since this film was released. (Godard himself stalled after "Week End.") Despite the rise of independently funded, non-Hollywood films in the past decade, no one seems ready to dare the sort of experimentation with what film could be that was begun in the 60s, and this is a sad thing. The films made by Godard at the height of his powers are all the more precious now. "Week End" is a document of a time when film mattered. It is an artifact, but it would only be dated if it had been surpassed. It does not rest in peace.
  • This was the culmination of almost seven years of work for Godard; arriving at a point in which his command of the film-making process was at its most confident and his talent as both a satirist and a grand provocateur could be channelled into making his ultimate statement - about society, cinema and the future of both - in such a way as to act as the bridge between the work that came before, and the work that would eventually follow. With Week End (1967), the intention was to confront the audience with the ultimate depiction of bourgeois decadence in all its morally-bankrupt banality; extending on the ideas behind his previous film, the complicated 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967) - in which prostitution was used as a metaphor for a vapid consumer society willing to confine itself to ineffective action, whilst simultaneously selling itself out for the comfort of life's little luxuries - and all the while creating a merciless parody of the decline of western civilisation in a way that seems frighteningly close to the world that we live in today.

    Throughout the film, Godard maintains a tone that is both serious and sardonic; showing us the morally-bankrupt nature of these characters and the mechanisms of the society in which they exist, while simultaneously creating an almost apocalyptic depiction of the end of society brought down by selfishness, consumerism, cannibalism and more. Alongside these particular themes, Godard layers in rudiments of social satire, contemporary French politics, the air of revolution - as hinted towards in the preceding send-up of La Chinoise (1967) - and a less than subtle reliance on Marxist ideologies to tie the whole thing together. Combine these elements with the director's continually provocative approach to film-making - including his typically unconventional use of music, inter-titles, crash cuts, tracking shots, pop-art inspired iconography and jarringly beautiful primary colours, all tied together by the always polarising appropriation of Brecht - and you have a film that is nothing less than progressive, defiant and utterly unique. All of these devises are used to disorientate the audience in a way that makes the viewing of the film as uncomfortable as possible; as scenes drag on and on while the camera explores the often absurd and abstracted tableau of scenes and scenarios in a way that seems to assault the senses of those of us more familiar with the conventional (i.e. bland) films still being produced by Hollywood to this very day.

    With this in mind, many approach Week End as anti-narrative film; somehow implying that the film lacks the required elements of plot or character. However, this simply isn't the case. Although it as a far removed from conventional cinema as you could possibly get, there is still a definite narrative to be followed here; with central characters, themes and the traditional idea of characters moving towards a certain set goal as the film progresses. However, there's no attempt to pander to the notions of genre or convention; with Godard instead using satire, allegory, metaphor, pastiche and deconstruction to create several separate avenues of interpretation that all lead back to the central comment on the nature of society in the year nineteen sixty seven. At the time of its release, Week End was seen as a stark comment on the way society was heading, and without question Godard was spot on in his depiction of a world sold out and cast adrift, consumed by consumption its very self and eventually reaching the point at which all forms of expression break down, and are replaced by barbaric savagery, cynicism and self-delusion.

    You could argue that most viewers dislike the film simply because it challenges them to think carefully about their own actions and the way they live their lives; with Godard all the while offering his amusing, provocative and highly satirical condemnation of a vapid society, personified by the parasitic creation of Roland and Corrine, a couple so truly fuelled by consumption and greed that the plot itself practically hinges on the question of whether or not they would resort to killing an elderly relative simply for financial gain. Although heavily stylised and overblown for purposes of surrealist humour, Roland and Corrine offer a mirror image of contemporary society at its very worst; predicting a number of currently relevant notions such as the loss of tradition, honour, family and respect, as well as the ultimate destruction, disregard and dismissal of concepts such as art, culture and history. Look around you and you'll see the social relevance of Week End, not simply as a satirical piece, but as a work of pure, abstract prophesy. Society may not have descended to the level of cannibal revolutionaries in the literal sense; but in the regurgitation of violence, horror, sensationalism, scandal, greed and consumption we feed off the carcass of the twentieth century and continue to ask for more.

    These themes are expressed in the form of an episodic road movie, continually stylised and colour coded in reference to the traditions of the French flag - with its noble references to liberty, equality and fraternity turned into purposely banal expressions of on-screen agitprop - with even the most profane elements of the plot captured with all the pastoral, idyllic warmth of a traditional picture postcard. The themes and ideas behind the film run so much deeper than this review could ever suggest, with Godard creating one of the most interesting, exciting and entirely radical films of this period. It is difficult and it does take work; however, the sheer weight of Godard's ideas, the intelligence of his vision and the relevance of his themes make it a more than worthwhile experience. Give it time, and you might realise that much of the film is satire at its most wicked. It's also a great deal of fun, and has a number of fantastic scenes that just get better and better with each consecutive viewing.
  • Jean-Luc Godard's cruelly ironic portrayal of the apocalypse of Western civilization through automobile accidents and petty greed effectively marked the breaking point in his career; after this, he retreated into an overtly political militant cinema for most of the late sixties/early seventies, following some of the leads here first introduced. Whatever plot there is is slowly deconstructed and disassembled throughout the film's length, as a weekend drive by cynical bourgeois couple Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne turns into a surrealist, comic nightmare of roadkill, class struggle, murder and politics as they have to face the progressively more chaotic consequences of their blind ambition and desire for power. Strikingly photographed in long one-take tracking shots, the most celebrated of which showing an apparently endless traffic jam, the film seems to defend the revolt of the proletariat until, by the end, the bourgeois wife is down with the revolutionary Liberation Front of the Seine and Oise, in a cruelly ironic plot twist that literally underlines the cannibal side of politics. With hindsight, many say that "Week End", released in 1967, effectively announced the May '68 urban uprisings in Paris and marked the beginning of Godard's politically active phase; personally, I think that Godard sensed the winds of change and jumped on the political bandwagon as a means to find the drive for his cinema to grow. And the cool, cruel detachment he bestows on the politics on display is enough to prove that his irony has seldom been more incisive than when he's being revolutionary.
  • Yeah, it's super bizarre and it's probably Godard's strangest work (which is saying a lot) that I've seen, but I still couldn't look past the glaring flaws and just love the wonderfully surrealist images. The first hour or so of the film is pretty much perfect, combining a brutally random sense of violence with some delightfully weird fantasy images and a dark, dark sense of humour. The infamous ten minute long tracking shot of the traffic jam manages to remain entertaining throughout by linking a series of hilariously comic moments. I also especially liked the bit with the guy with the Porsche singing into a pay phone and the inexplicable appearance of Emily Brontë, who is dismissed as a fictional character and lit on fire. However, once Godard's political beliefs begin making their presence felt in an all too explicit and blatant manner, the film grinds to a halt. I was simply bored during the long monologues on America's foreign policy, which seemed a rather childish attempt by Godard to get his message across. The film never really recovers from this, as even the appearance of a group of cannibalistic revolutionaries can't bring back the same sense of black comedy that populated the first 2/3 of the film. Still, it's utterly brilliant for a majority of the time, and its bizarre images mask a mostly subtle and intelligent tirade against society and commercialism. Not for the faint-hearted, though.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jen Luc-Goddard's "Weekend" is a strange art film. Goddard uses garish colour and strange camera shots and editing cuts throughout the film to give it an anarchistic feeling. Fitting, as this film is about the collapse of society during a weekend car trip. I think.

    The film features a number of characters who are completely off their rockers. There is a roadside robbery by Jesus (or God? or God's grandson?), inexplicable on camera animal killings (real, I think), cannibals, murder and a ton of car's honking.

    I do not know what else to say about this film really apart from what it made me feel, which was a bit confused. The film is about anarchy and chaos, and the way it is shot is increasingly disjointed as society continues to crumble. Their is also a ton of political commentary about consumerism, neo-colonialism and class division. When this film ended, I really did not know whether I liked it or not. It had some good dark-humour and was interestingly shot, but made little sense beyond that, and left me thinking of an art school project.

    All in all, this was a disjointed art film about anarchy, and I didn't like it or dislike it. It just is. It exists. Why, I cannot say. Recommended for fans of Goddard, and anarchists I guess. 5/10
  • Wow, such a polarizing film! It seems everyone either detests this work as something less than terrible or conversely praise it to the heavens. I guess I'm sadly somewhere in between. Having read a bit of theory behind the film before I saw it I won't rehash that here, only state my reaction, for if there's anything this picture cries out for it is a reaction. Well here goes. Parts are horrifying. Far more disturbing than slasher film gore (mostly because the imagery being dispensed with aren't human). Parts are boring (and NOT the ten minute tracking shot which was a gem. Has anyone even been in a traffic jam before? Godard merely replicates it and all the while makes you wonder where that couple's car is heading, and what could have caused such a jam). Parts don't make sense, mostly because I don't think they are supposed to. That is their purpose, to disrupt sense. And, surprisingly something that nobody on here has mentioned, parts are very very funny. Okay, so perhaps not everyone will laugh as often as I did, but please, lighten up kids, Godard is making fun of us, its healthy to laugh at oneself once and a while. And some of his film is just fun too. Okay, now go back to the other reviews of how hopelessly miserable you'll feel after watching this, or how much of a religious awakening this will be if your down with the art-house film-erati. Definitely worth seeing.
  • Week End (1967)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    A husband (Jean Yanne) and wife (Mireille Darc), both having affairs and wanting the other dead, take a weekend trip to her dying father's house so that they can make sure they are in his will. Along the way they get in major traffic jams, get kidnapped by Jesus, run into various weirdos including a cannibal group and other strangeness. As with Godard's A Woman is a Woman, this film starts off great but quickly hits a wall and really left me cold for the final half hour or so. While I was watching the second half of the film I began to get bored very quickly and I started thinking why this was the case with the director. I'm not sure I came up with any positive answers but Godard kind of reminds me of sitting in the dark and having someone come up from behind you and scaring you. It's a great joke but he keeps on doing it to the point where it becomes tiresome and annoying. That's the feeling I got from watching this film because I loved and respected so much of it but after a while it just started to annoy me. The sequence where everything went wrong was the concert footage, which I thought just killed the mood and feel dead in its tracks. This was followed by an overly dramatic talk about blacks in America, which was then followed by a painfully long sequence dealing with the cannibals or whatever you want to call them. By the time the film ending I was rather frustrated but I guess this is just Godard being Godard. What I did enjoy about the film was the surreal and strange nature that everything is set up. There's a brilliantly done tracking shot, which goes on and on but never gets boring and in reality the sequence is quite beautiful. Godard, trying to be annoying on purpose, has everyone honking their horns for the entire scene and it really did come off funny as did all of the strange positions that the cars were in. Another great sequence happens early on when the wife talks about being seduced by another woman and her husband. This is a pretty erotic scene that's able to do more with dialogue than a lot of films do with actually showing the sexual acts. I like the way Godard demands that the viewer put themselves into the various situations but I think he, once again, goes overboard in his thoughts and ideas of the world.
  • Me and French comedies will probably never become friendly with each other. On top of that, I have still yet to see a Jean-Luc Godard movie that I actually do like.

    This movie is typical of French comedies of its era, with featuring many long, stretched out scene's, in which it always remains the question of actually something good or funny will be happening at the end of it. Too often the answer to this is no.

    But it's also no an usual comedy or movie really. It's still more artistic than anything else really and it doesn't really necessarily follow a real plot. As a matter of fact, it features an extremely simplistic written story, in which things just seem to happen at random, without making a clear point about anything.

    Movies of this sort often get called a social satires or commentaries but I got absolutely nothing out of this movie. If there was a message in this all I surely missed it but somehow I also don't think Jean-Luc Godard was really trying to tell anything. It seems like he more wanted to test its audience by how they would be responding to certain sequences and themes that raise up in this movie. It's a movie that mostly attempts to shock, by becoming an odd sort of anarchistic comedy.

    And I can surely still appreciate the whole way this movie is being made. Despite coming across as utterly pointless I still couldn't really hate it, since its a skillfully directed movie, that often is also a real pleasure to look at. Visually this movie does has some great moments in it, which mostly come from the movie its technical aspects. There is some great camera-work in this movie, which is really about the only thing that stands out about this movie.

    No, guess I'm just not really a Jean-Luc Godard fan.

  • 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!
  • NapoleonX22 July 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is a polarising film. People either love it or despise it, it seems. Me, I despise it. The film comes from the same context as Lindsay Anderson's Oh Lucky Man, but while that is a masterpiece, this is just horrible.

    Both films take Kafka's unfinished novel - America, for their inspiration and general ideal. America is a surreal story of a youth's travels through the country. Kafka uses the this character as a pure observer, one who does not change over the course of the journey (although the book is about 300 pages and still seems only a quarter finished, so we'll never know). Allowing Kafka to concentrate and comment on the absurd/surreal situations and surroundings. Oh Lucky Man follows this same template to show Britain through the eyes of Malcolm McDowell and Weekend does the same for France.

    Both films are also hugely Brechtian, using various tricks and techniques to point up the fact that this is NOT REAL, this is confabulation etc. But the difference comes where Oh Lucky Man uses the constructed film to convey the absurdity of life and the class system, Weekend uses the constructed film to bludgeon us to death with ideological polemic. Because Godard goes further than Anderson in his Brechtian principles, we end up with two principle characters in which we have no investment, at all. We're forced to spend 90 minutes with them, yet we couldn't care less about them. Deliberately so. But in doing this, Godard leaves us with a film that is entirely about his own message, which, in the first half of the film is provided through relentless and overbearing symbolism, and in the second half through a series of long speeches directed to camera. Combined with unpleasant and unnecessary scenes such as the really horrible pig slaying, far worse than any of the off camera violence of the car crashes.

    The end result is like listening to a student political apparatchik droning on and on and on about his views whilst repeatedly kicking you in the head so that you get the message. The problem with Brecht is, if you alienate the audience too much, then you've alienated them from what you are trying to convey. Which always seemed self evident to me.

    The parts that really stick in the craw for this movie though, is the contrast between the extremely sexually explicit verbal description of the threesome at the start and the off-screen comical rape in the middle, which, even if it could be viewed as allegorical, completely destroys the film's faith in itself and it's characters, what little of it existed in the first place. It's so French with a capital F, it hurts.

    Watch Oh Lucky Man instead. That is a work of genius. Weekend is a work of pretension.

    Two stars, and only for the traffic jam scene and the piano scene, which are just hints at genius, although they actually make the end result more frustrating and unsatisfying as without them, this is a bad film by the worst most pretentious director in the world, with them, well it's obvious that this is a damn good technical director making the most intellectually pretentious film in the world. Somehow that's far worse.
  • Weekend is one of the best movies I've ever seen, but it's also one of the most troubling. Its depth politically is, I believe, unmatched in cinema; Godard is truly a master, but this is, like a Sun Ra record, art for which you might need to be prepared.

    By telling you to "be prepared," however, I don't mean to say you should go read up on film history. Sure, you'll miss a trick or two if you don't, but there's enough material to keep you very, very interested even if you're not a film student. Nor, in fact, should you even feel the need to read up on French history; it suffices to say that, to be very simplistic about it, as the U.S. was to Vietnam at the time, so France was to Algeria. Really, if you wanted to be ready for ALL the intellectual references and name-dropping, you ought to have a good classical education. That's hard to get, so I can't possibly suggest that...

    What I do mean by "be prepared" is: be prepared for long shots that might not make sense, be prepared to consider your place in the world... be prepared to think about the movie while it's running. Hollywood encourages us to turn off our brains while we're watching a movie; Godard doesn't allow it. His film is intentionally aggravating and annoying at times, but Godard knows precisely what he's doing, and he manipulates the viewer expertly. (The infamous "car-jam scene" is to this day the most annoying and at the same time one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.) Be prepared to consider your place in society, society's place in the world, and the problems of those situations. Godard raises numerous incredibly important questions: what is the final fate of literature and the wealths of past generations handed down after political upheaval is finished with them? what is the point of any rhetoric-- communist or otherwise-- in a world of selfish, stupid bourgeois pigs (and, as anyone who's ever worked in fast food will tell you, this one is)? does art even have a purpose in a marketplace?

    I personally disagree with those who claim that Weekend is dated and only interesting historically. The message is only obscured to us because the draft is no longer in full swing and because the entertainment industry has succeeded in lulling us into false security. We still have our Vietnams, though they may be secret; and, facts must be faced, most of us are still complete and total jerks, caring very little for the world around us and very much for our own pleasure. At the heart of Godard's movie is a deep and abiding love and compassion for humanity; the decadence of the world around us, however, forces the surface of the film to be cynical and hateful toward all the disgusting influences which keep us from being what we could be.
  • Undead_Master12 September 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    This was almost a good movie. There are a whole series of great scenes at the very beginning and it holds strong for about the first 40 minutes of its running time. Unfortunately, Godard decided to turn the second half of the film into irrelevant political drivel.

    Parts of the film are almost impossible to endure (the scene with the guy playing piano as the camera circles... The scene where we listen to political rants while looking at blank faces.) some parts of it are just boring and unintelligible. By the time it reaches its conclusion, I was wanting it to end so badly that I barley noticed how cool the final scene was (it's a very amusing Bunuelian kind of ending).

    This is a film that's only useful for studying some of the cinematic techniques he uses. You can learn a lot about technique from watching Godard's cinema because to a certain extent, all of his movies are essays on the art of film-making . You have to watch them with a certain detachment... All of them are highly experimental and because of that some of them are really really bad... This one has just barely enough entertainment value to be enjoyed on a conventional level for the first half, but the second half is nothing but a series of failed experiments and self serving political/philosophical nonsense.

    Not one of his better works. If you're new to Godard, skip this one for now and watch something like Aphaville instead.
  • "Week End" is a film by the French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Many think Godard is a genius and his films invariably have high ratings. I've seen quite a few of his films and, with a few exceptions, I keep thinking of the kid in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes" who shouts out 'The Emperor is naked!'. In other words, so many of Godard's films are unwatchable and pretentious....and the artsy folks go on and on at length about the genius of his work, while the average non-crazy viewer is confused and wonders why anyone would make such terrible stuff in the first place!

    Before you assume I am an uncultured boob, then try to explain why in his sci-fi masterpiece "Alphaville", the world is run by a sentient space heater. Or why in "Pierre le Fou" Jean-Paul Belmondo paints his head blue, wraps dynamite around it and blows himself up!! This ain't normal or enjoyable stuff here!

    In "Week End" all sorts of absurdist stuff happens which involve a completely self-absorbed couple. These folks race their car along the road paying no heed to the MANY accidents with blood-strewn bodies all over the pavement, some folks pull out guns and start shooting them off like they are in a Keystone Kops film, as well as a hitchhiker/kidnapper who declares that he is God and performs some miracles, and many more bizarro things. I am pretty sure that Godard is trying to say how banal and pointless life is in western world and how bereft of value the middle class is...but why does this have to be done in such a nonsensical manner?! The film is about as enjoyable to watch as film footage of a slaughterhouse or a toilet. Confusing artsy stuff intended for the select few....of which, I am not one.
  • If you like me is going to see this in a film history class or something like that at your school, try to convince your teacher to see something else. believe me, anything is better than this movie. it is slow paced, confusing, boring, poorly constructed, gory, gringy, do I need to go on? It's message is good, but I have seen them been handled better in several other films. The acting isn't even any good. This movie is just even more awkward, as it start off as being funny (not intensional though)because of it's surreal story, than at the end, just becomes uncomfortable to watch.

    I honestly feel like 1 hour and 40 minutes of my life has been robbed. Why would anyone want to watch a girls describe a threesome for 10 minutes, than watch them drive through a traffic jam for 20 minutes, listen to a hippie who can make sheep appear, witness a sort of rape, than see the female lead role eat her husband.

    Honestly this movie deserves nothing but a 1/10. And if your not happy with my preview,seriously I'm an open minded guy and I like movies that protest through symbolism, but this movie was just awful. make any excuse you can, to avoid this film.
  • Jean-Luc Goddard's film Week End is loaded with his obsessions with outrageous characters, political and philosophical ideas, and so on, and many viewers have claimed this to be a full on political film. From what I could gather after seeing a poor yet manageable copy of this film, I saw that this is possibly his best effort in terms of abrasive, surreal though bravura directing. He leaves the camera on his characters, with their flaws almost shining off them (which serves as an asset in some scenes), and yet most of the time it feels like he's directing a comedy of these events- comedy of errors. Consider the scene where the woman has the monologue in her panties and bra, how she leads up such telling, informatory details to a payoff that gives as a reminder of the Walken scene in Pulp Fiction (though he is the better actor). Or in other times the comedy is in the sense of a Goddard satire of his past work - the traffic set piece(s) gets the viewer to feel in the mood of the car he so piercingly follows, even as it becomes relentlessly obnoxious and tense, and acts like every other driver on the streets of the cities of America.

    It's a delirious, one-of-a-kind stretch to the heights of satirical madness. However that, and a moment of argument over a corpse in the passenger seat (he cuts to the faces of the onlookers who happen to find such duologue rather amusing), show by the time Goddard reached this stage in his career he wasn't taking himself and his work 100 % seriously, though that's not to say that the element of the woman's path to guerrilla-hood isn't a serious topic. For his art film die-hards he also uses a peculiar, non-linear style in story-telling- an added advantage for a week-end timepiece. By the time the cannibals come along in the woods (and yes, repetitive drum beat included as the camera continues to glide with a freedom and abandon akin to anarchy) you'll know whether you love it or hate it, or just scratch your head in confusion.

    I'm reminded of Fellini (as I was while watching another Goddard film of recent, Contempt) in one aspect of the picture, in terms of how he portrays his women- he can love them, ignore them, belittle them, or even glorify them in the most drastic of measures, but he can't control them. One also wonders if this is how he just makes it for his films, or if in real life the women of his life were really this (how do I put it) out-there. But on repeated viewings, this film reveals itself more and more, and in its very frustrating, uncompromising way, it's a true original. The script occasionally veers off on it's tale of a couple going on a disastrous week-end out for stretches of poetry, discussion, things that don't have much to do with the story, and yet there's a catching, eccentric, melodic aura to these scenes and passages. These kinds of scenes make it perfectly clear that Goddard has created an original work here, one that may put off audience members who "don't get it" or expect total sense in the outcomes. Certainly a movie made for it's time, country of origin, and target group (if there even IS one in the art-house or avant-garde crowd).

    To sum up my review let me put it this way - this is the kind of picture that would've heavily influenced The Doors...After seeing over a dozen others, and on repeat viewings, this is now my favorite Godard.
  • valadas29 April 2004
    I never liked any of Godard's movies and this one confirms my impression. It is composed by a succession of flashes exposing this mad civilization we have in a mixture of humour and tragedy mainly based on a series of car crashes with bloody bodies spread everywhere to degenerate into a succession of absurd scenes and characters performing a lot of nonsense without any thread, mixing up Vietnam, colonialism, class war, consumer society, bourgeois values, adultery, etc as if Godard is making fun of all of them. However to cultivate the absurd as a form of art you need the talent and the genius of a Beckett or a Ionesco which Godard clearly doesn't have. Ok he mocks our society, he mocks mankind, he mocks politics and morals but from which point of view? Whose are his values? Against which background must we see his characters? His filmography leaves us in the most complete ignorance about that. At least Woody Allen makes us think and meditate. To watch a Godard's movie is in my opinion a total waste of time.
  • Watching "Weekend" gave me the same joyous sensation as watching Bunuel's "The Phantom of Liberty." It's so blessedly free from conventionality that it's a rollercoaster of voyeuristic pleasure. Every scene is a text unto itself and maybe it relates to the whole, maybe it doesn't. Godard is making up his own rules as he goes along. This might be the first truly existential film I've seen. It's the kind of movie Nietzsche would've made if he'd been alive to see the advent of film art.

    It's a shame, though, that the closest thing we have to Godard nowadays is guys like Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson. Not to knock Q or Wes - I have a lot of love for their movies - but you just don't feel the same freedom watching one of their movies as you do watching Godard's, because with theirs you still realize you're following a constricting narrative path, contrived to hoodwink us into thinking the world makes sense.

    There is certainly a place for that kind of filmmaking. But there's a place for Godard's kind, too, and it's a shame that niche isn't being satisfied.

    11+ (cuz JLG's a rule breaker)
  • If you want just one film, which has EVERYTHING, than this is it.

    Comedy: hilarious farce. Silly violent slapstick. Satire. Incongruity. Iconoclasm. Our hero beats up a semiological Emily Bronte. Lunch munching dustbin men offer Maoist analyses.

    Violence: Quiet French countryside littered with car-crashes. Cannibalistic terrorists. Muggings.

    Politics: Godard wants to destroy not just cinema, but Western culture as a whole. Made in the period of unrest just before les evenements of 68. Conventional plot offered and attacked on all sides. Important narrative action elided; irrelevancies privileged.

    Aesthetics: Extraordinary beautiful use of colour, music and intertitles - this is the ultimate in Brechtian cinema. Ten-minute traffic jam one of the great sequences in cinema.

    WEEK END is a film of two halves. The first part - hilarious and frightening - destroys everything we know and hold dear. The second offers something new. It is noisy, relentless, repetitive, repulsive. It may not be a success, but it is one of the bravest acts in the history of any artform.

    After this Godard left the commercial cinema for 13 years. Even today his films are unparalelled in their daring, enquiry and fury. He is too much - we just ignore him. We deserve what we get.
  • What a wonderful film! Coming back to this film after almost 40 years I am astonished at how invigorating and inspiring it remains. Moreover the passing of time has been very kind to this movie and revealed it to be far more influential and perceptive than one would ever have imagined. It was several years after this was released that we began to notice a black underbelly to the cultural revolution in the West. Not all free love and flowers we were to have to realise as Polanski's wife and friends were massacred and the summer of love began to go so wrong. Moreover, some of the direct political statements that seemed a little forced at the time now look startlingly pure and, once again, perceptive. Even ignoring the political aspect to the film it is a marvel to watch and so amusing. Not every scene makes total sense but we are swept along with so many exciting notions and provocative ideas to digest that the odd moment of perplexity is of no consequence and even increases the mystery. We are constantly convinced that every frame, every sound and every caption makes complete sense to Goddard and that is enough, even if we have to occasionally struggle to keep up. I haven't mentioned the graphic depictions of sex, death, cannibalism and more but then I think in some ways these elements put off potential viewers and they shouldn't. This has to be one of the great movies.
  • I respected Godard until I saw Week End. Now I see him for what he is-- an vile sociopath, completely incapable of feeling any compassion for either his characters or his audience.

    This is the most hateful, vicious, and obnoxious film I've ever seen. Animals are slaughtered on camera, completely without context, simply for shock effect, and every female character in the film is either murdered, raped, or otherwise sexually humiliated. Aside from a few vague references to socialist rhetoric, there are no serious ideas in the film that would make these scenes worth considering. Godard only wants to hurt his audience. Along the way he flaunts his technical ability with neverending dolly shots, and congratulates his own cleverness with bad pun intertitles like "Analyse" split into "Anal yse". How very brilliant!

    Avoid this film if at all possible. I don't think I'll ever forgive Godard for inflicting it upon us.
  • Jean-Luc Godard's massive WTF of a movie is certainly something to see, but I'm not going to promise that you'll enjoy it.

    But if you are familiar with Godard at all, you probably don't need me to warn you. An angry filmmaker who has always made angry movies about what's most wrong with our culture, Godard is at his most caustic in "Week End." It's like he was so mad that he decided to make a movie it would be impossible to enjoy in the traditional sense as a big "F YOU!" to humanity. Thus he plays thunderous music over scenes of dialogue so that you can't hear what people are saying, uses jump cuts and jerks to interrupt the visual flow of what you're seeing, and includes things like a 10-minute tracking shot of a traffic jam showing humanity and its most bizarre.

    My praise of Godard and his ilk is always qualified. I understand his importance in the development of film as an art form, but I also instantly bridle at the condescension of filmmakers who feel that it is their duty to use their films to teach me a lesson, and that films can only be meaningful if they are unpleasant.

    Grade: B+
  • Jean Luc Godard's "Weekend" is so dark, so evil and yet so funny. There is not one sympathetic character. It's every man for himself in a crazed consumer world. The film shows the downfall of western civilization through automobiles. A wealthy and loveless couple are scheming to collect an inheritance. They'll do anything to get it, even if it means poisoning their relative's food. The husband knows his wife is having an affair, but he doesn't care. He asks his wife to describe her affair in boring graphic detail. Then we witness a road trip from hell; fender benders, shouting matches, a long extended traffic jam, car jackers, car crashes, Marxism, rape and even cannibalism. There is even a scene in which a girl is raped with a fish. Ouch! Talk about pushing the envelope, and this film was almost made forty years ago. Although "Weekend" was a product of its time, it is still relevant today. Especially with America and its SUV obsessed culture that's on the brink of madness. You can definitely see Weekend's influence in road movies like "Wild at Heart", "Natural Born Killers", "Crash" (1996), "Perdita Durango" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas". So if your looking for a chaotic surreal road trip that leads into an insane violent free for all of satirical craziness; "Weekend" is a film for you. Although at times it can move slow with its dialog, the film is still amazing. I enjoyed it and almost died from uneasy laughter.
  • Easily one of Godard's best films, although I'd hesitate to call it the best as many have in the past, Weekend is without a doubt his biggest film. Whatever its worth in Godard's canon, it is undoubtedly the summation of his early career and it is, indeed, a great film. See it if you like Godard. If you don't like Godard, don't see it. This is certainly not going to convert you. 9/10.
  • A supposedly idyllic week-end trip to the countryside turns into a never-ending nightmare of traffic jams, revolution, cannibalism and murder as French bourgeois society starts to collapse under the weight of its own consumer preoccupations.

    Following World War II, the French grew increasingly supportive of communism. Maybe not as a whole, but the intellectuals (such as Sartre) embraced it, and it seems a natural reaction following the Nazi occupation of the 1940s. Rejecting the extreme right does tend to push ideology to the left.

    Here we have a surreal satire on the class struggle in France in the 1960s. One of the most radical countries during one of the most radical decades. Many have compared this to Luis Bunuel's "Discreet Charm" and with good reason. They can both be seen as the artistic expression of the disdain for the upper class. I dare say this is the better film, even if probably the lesser-known.
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