03 June 2010


Godard at his best. This is what hipsters aspire to. This movie sets the stage for dismal crap like Funny Ha Ha - it's young self-absorbed aimlessness rendered as sexy and thrilling. The movie follows a young criminal named Michel, who steals a car, kills a cop, and attempts to woo a young American girl (who by the way has a fantastic haircut that I totally want). It's this fantastic French New Wave look at these utterly narcissistic young people who yearn to BE something. Michel stares longingly at movie posters and quotes Bogart and goes around committing crime with absolutely no sense of consequence. Even towards the end, he's totally unable to take life seriously - it's all posturing and gesture. He's a complete asshole, but he's just charming enough to make it work. Patricia, his paramour, is a somewhat vague young lady who's easily swayed by romantic ideas. She's gorgeous, with a charming smile and an adorable gleam in her eyes, but spends most of the movie mooning around trying to figure out what she's thinking about, because she really wants to be thinking about something. This was what reminded me of Funny Ha Ha - her desire to be interesting and intellectual, with no sense really of how to achieve it other than standing next to a poster of a Renoir painting and asking if she resembles it.

What's brilliant about the movie is the way it simultaneously romanticizes the characters and shows how they're caught up in romanticized notions that surround them, such as movie posters, Paris streets, etc. While the movie doesn't explicitly condemn them, it's also not advocating for their life - in other words, the narrative perspective is more clearly distanced from the protagonists (which is often an issue I have with contemporary hipster films - the ambiguity of the perspective). All in all, it's an absolutely brilliant film - a real classic.

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

Music Box is showing it on the 18th. I think Gemma and I are going. :p