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Weekend

France 1967. Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Cast: Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Anne Wiazemsky

Godard’s astonishing 15th feature, from 1967, is “the cumulative work of the first phase of Godard's career” (Armond White) and one of the director’s pinnacle achievements. A self-described “film found on the scrapheap,” Weekend offers a savagely funny, surreal epic satire of our car-crash culture hurtling towards its apocalypse. Godard channels Buñuel and consumer capitalism runs amok as a murderous middle-class couple (played by Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne) sets out for a Sunday drive, encountering a series of increasingly elaborate, increasingly gruesome auto accidents. Only by merrily maiming and pillaging as they go can the unpleasant pair make their way safely through the hilarious, horrifying, hallucinatory scrapheap of Western civilization. In the meantime, a group of mindless Maoist cannibalistic hippie revolutionaries takes to the woods. The film's stunning centrepiece — “one of the great sequences in all cinema” (James Monaco) — is a single-take, 10-minute tracking shot along a monumental traffic jam. Nouvelle vague mainstay Raoul Coutard was the cinematographer. “Extraordinary ... Godard’s vision of Hell and it ranks with the greatest” (Pauline Kael). “This is Godard’s best film, and his most inventive. It is almost pure movie” (Roger Ebert). Colour, 35mm, in French with English subtitles. 105 mins.

 

REVIEWS

"The film must be seen, for its power, ambition, humor, and scenes of really astonishing beauty."

New York Times | full review

"A grating, disturbing, funny, witty, and controversial film package."

Variety | full review