La autopista del Sur
- =v= Jen-Luc Godard's 1967 film _Week_End_ was at a moviehouse
this weekend, and had no idea what I was getting into. In the
first few minutes of the film there is road rage (well, parking
lot rage), and in short order we're in the road film from Hell.
After another parking lot altercation, we find ourselves in a
remarkable 8-minute tracking shot of a traffic jam on a highway
out of Paris. Of course it's online:
Notice the honking and anger every step of the way.
=v= Things aren't much better when our protagonists get their
car rolling at higher speeds, of course; there are smashed-up
cars and cartoonishly bloody bodies alongside every country
road. A bicyclist is run off the road, then a car in exactly
the same manner, and then of course a pedestrian. A collision
between a sports car and tractor prompts a heated argument
about class war.
=v= A guerrilla band arrives about 2/3rds of the way into the
film and dynamites a car, but alas, the revolution (and the
film) goes awry when it loses sight of its core values. The
guerillas apparently there to make some kind of statement
about the collapse of bourgeois civiliation (I use the b-word
advisedly, because after this film, Godard devoted his career
to Marxism). The revolutionaries descend into cruelty and
barbarism, less cartoonish and more shocking -- a dull-witted
writeup in the _SF_Weekly_ links this to Occupy Wall Street for
no discerniblereason -- and we move from cars to cannibalism
and guns. Alas.
=v= Even so, overall, a satisfying look at car culture and
its discontents. Two carfree thumbs up!