• Godard’s last feature before Weekend (and 14th overall) is a blast of politics, color, references and postmodern reflexivity

It stars Anne Wiazemsky and Jean-Pierre Léaud (above)

Wiazemsky is in in the middle of this three year run working with Bresson (Au Hasard Balthazar in 1966), Godard (here of course) and Pasolini (Teorema in 1968)

primary colors yet again for Godard– even if he’s decided to tighten up the frame to a boxier ratio

Godard is contradictory and unsubtle—he’s literally writing messages on the wall here—he’s angry, intellectual, but still playful

  • The coloring is stunning yet again- primary: yellow, red, and blue lampshades, décor, costumes and paint-. It is a strategically rendered mise-en-scene throughout – red books, a crassly painted blue door, the yellow blanket at the 29-minute mark— they open the door and there’s red behind it. He does tighten the size of the frame to the older standard 33 : 1 ratio for some reason.

a mad rush of images and ideas

  • Cutaways (broken up by red and blue lettering on dialogue titles) all over the place- writings (red, white and blue), pictures of materials and artists referenced (Brecht, Shakespeare)
  • A postmodern collage – reflexive—the supposed crew of this film is often shot on camera, or heard talking— “Yes, I am an actor”- from Leaud, “this movement of the film”, using a clapperboard, “last scene of the movie”

Godard’s talent for compositions still astounds—there’s a tracking shot left to right at the 21-minute mark that goes outside of the classroom and shows the red and blue painted shutters. It is like his old tennis match shot (which usually was a pan—this is a tracking shot)— swinging back and forth like a pendulum.

The shot of the four youths split in two by the window frame out on the balcony at the 30-minute mark is an inspired Antonioni-like composition as well.

Leaud and others literally read on screen like Pierrot (yet another way Godard is just flouting convention) – though this would probably work better as a silent film

  • The audio mix is on random again, characters address the camera- this is certainly auteur cinema with still much to praise visually.
  • At the 47-minute mark Godard repeats the tracking shot outside the classroom. Here the characters talk about the use of primary colors, actually. “pure and balanced”
  • References to 8 ½ and Johnny Guitar
  • The conversation Wiazemsky has from the 68-minute to the 79-minute mark stops the editing and film’s rhythm altogether. With Godard you feel like the film is made with a genius, but flippant instinct. That he could’ve made this film any number of ways and cut it differently – it is just so different from the precision of a Hitchcock or Kubrick
  • Recommend / Highly Recommend border