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ALPHAVILLE

Director: JEAN-LUC GODARD

FRANCE-ITALY| 1965. BLACK AND WHITE. 98 MIN.


One of director Jean-Luc Godard’s most engaging movies, Alphaville is an inventive mixture of science fiction and film noir, with its roots in the surrealist poetry of the 1920s (specifically Paul Eluard’s Capital of Pain). Godard shot the entire film on real locations in central Paris, which cinematographer Raoul Coutard turns into an icily dehumanised city of the future. Hollywood B-movie icon Eddie Constantine (‘a solid block’, according to Godard) plays Lemmy Caution, a secret agent sent to overthrow the rule of Professor Von Braun, a scientist who invented the Alpha-60 computer. En route, Lemmy meets the professor’s daughter (a luminous Anna Karina, Godard’s muse of the ’60s), who is incapable of loving and learns about the subject by studying Eluard’s writings.
Combining the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with the comic-strip legend of Dick Tracy, Godard has great fun playing with genre conventions while continuing his life-long exploration of the relationship between sound and image, love and society.
(New 35mm print.)

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