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GANGS A PART (1964, FRANCE) – 9/10

The 1960s were by far the most fruitful and best period of the French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard, and I always saw this humorous crime drama as a kind of continuation of Godard’s most famous film “Breathless”. And “Gangs a part” is a film about young people who, partly out of hangovers, leisure, boredom, start dealing with crime, and about young people who find nothing interesting in their lives and as if they have completely decided to reject the old order. Godard did something similar with written and unwritten film rules as soon as he appeared, he turned from a film critic into a filmmaker, so “Bande a part” is his answer to the typical heist film.

While promoting the film, Godard claimed that to shoot a crime film, it is enough to have a hot girl and a gun, and that hot girl was his then wife Anna Karina. This Danish-born actress was Godard’s muse during the first half of the 1960s and appeared in all of his films at the time after he hired her, without any prior acting experience. Her life story is completely unbelievable because she arrived from Copenhagen to Paris in the late fifties as 17-year-old Hanne Karin Blarke Beyer without knowing the language and without money.

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While sitting for coffee, a photographer noticed her and soon Hanne became an extremely sought-after model, and Coco Chanel gave her the stage name Anna Karina, which is incredibly reminiscent of Tolstoy’s heroine Anna Karenina. Godard soon noticed Karina in an advertisement and immediately offered her a role in his debut “Breathless”, but she made her debut in his next film and acted in a total of eight Godard films. After breaking up with Godard, she stopped acting in his films, but by the end of the sixties, as well as during the seventies, she had a number of memorable roles.

One of these is the role of Odile, a girl who meets a guy named Franz (Sami Frey) on an English course and immediately reveals to him that she lives in a large villa in the Paris suburbs with her aunt Victoria and her lover, and that he keeps huge amounts of money there. . Franz will convey this story to his friend Arthur (Claude Brasseur), after which they will decide to steal the money. Both of them will fall in love with the somewhat naive and childish Odile, and it will turn out that they are not the only ones planning to carry out the theft.

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It is a film that stylistically, narratively and spiritually fits perfectly into the French new wave, and it is interesting that “Bande a part” is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films, who named his production company “Band a Part”. The dance scene in which Odile, Franz and Arthur dance Madison together in the cafe is particularly memorable and favorite, and it is a film that exudes charm, style, even some rebellion, definitely one of the best films that Godard made in his sixty-year career.

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