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Weekend

Godard’s vision of bourgeois cataclysm, after which he began his retreat from commercial cinema to contemplate his ideological navel. A savage Swiftian satire, it traces a new Gulliver’s Travels through the collapsing consumer society as a maried couple set out for a weekend jaunt, passing through a nightmare landscape of highways strewn with burning cars and bloody corpses (a stunning ten-minute take) before emerging into a brave new world peopled by Maoist revolutionaries living like red-skins in the woods off murder, pillage and rape. What takes the film one stage further into inimitableGodard territory is the note of despairing romanticism he first mined in Pierrot le fou. Here too, his hero and heroine emerge as oddly tragic figures, modern Robinson Crusoes wandering helplessly in limbo because, even if they could find a desert island free of abandoned cars, they are incapable of surviving without consumer goods.

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