Thursday, June 7, 2007

Band of Outsiders (1964)

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Starring Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, and Sami Frey.

The popular line on Godard is that his classic work came early in his career, and that after this period his work became more obscure and less rewarding. I'm pretty much in agreement with that, since the post-60s Godard films I've seen have mostly been too ponderous and self-absorbed to work for me, but in his first decade as a filmmaker, he seemingly churned out one masterpiece after another. Band of Outsiders, while not quite my favorite Godard film (check back at a later date for that one), is a close second. The plot involves two would be criminals (Brasseur and Frey) who team up with a girl (Karina, Godard's wife at the time) to rob a rich couple. The real pleasures of the film, though, are in the offhand moments presented- dancing the Madison in a café, a full-out sprint through the Louvre, Karina's luminous face- and the film culminates in a death scene that's quite possibly the most poetic moment in any of Godard's classic films.

See also: The Movie Moment: Band of Outsiders (Screengrab)

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