Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Running Time: 1 hr. 43 min.
I hate election season. It’s worse when it comes to the midterm and the Presidential elections. I only want to see the Saturday Night Live sketches, not the news reports on what happened at the last debate. Now, you may be asking “Why is Samantha saying she hates elections? She’s so political.” Well, it’s because I’m too die-hard of a Democrat. When it’s election day, I get scared of watching the polls in fear that another Republican candidate will be elected, and then take away all of the rights from the [identity]? and ethnic groups, as well as keep the money with the rich. I spar with my dad a lot about this. He works for a famous economist whom is a big Republican supporter these days. Since starting to work for him, my dad has become more and more conservatively political. It has come to the point where I can’t stand a political conversation.
Then again, I can always go cryptic like Godard and his many films. He is my director idol in that he creates classical narratives with antidotes to art cinema: the unnecessary action, the subjective view expressed in the surroundings of the characters, the throwback to the different styles of Hollywood (musical, comedy, thriller, horror, etc.), and his own personal view. Now, I’m not a fan on his narrow view of people. Watch any of his films, and he appears racist. But the odd thing is that I can’t stop laughing at it or enjoying the film. Many of his films appear in the Criterion Collection. Some, however, are out of print. But out of all the Godard films available at this time, this film seems to be the perfect fit to the increasing political environment we’re going to have to deal with for the year.
Again, simple story here: a bourgeoisie couple try to go on a weekend vacation via car. What the film does (as Luis Bunuel did in Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, a film I wrote about last semester) is make it extremely complex with political views, shocking revelations, disturbing imagery, and out of the ordinary scenarios. It is definitely a thinker’s piece, when one thinks that its political agenda is given in the film, but what Godard is really asking is for the viewer to take a step back and think about the film as a whole, not the mini things that are touched on once or twice.
It’s a polarizing film. But it is also an amazing one. I found myself entranced by its zaniness, even though I was offended by some of the remarks made. It is a strange paradox, but in the end, entertainment triumphs over disturbance. Therefore, you should watch this political thought piece.