Even today, Jean-Luc Godard is the most unusual “phenomenon” to hit French cinema. After presenting himself in 1960 with perhaps the key new wave film “Breathless”, probably the most influential film of all time, Godard only continued to dissolve the film canons over the years. The period up to 1968 is considered his best and most fruitful, when he made his best films and then turned into a radical filmmaker who wanted to change the world through film and promoted some of his political ideas. Political commitment was also felt in some of his earlier films, and the most famous film critic Roger Ebert said about this subversive satire / anarchic black comedy that with it Godard finally managed to completely reject the classical film language.
“Weekend” could be described as an anarchic, chaotic, absurdist provocation, which is also a loud call to revolution by a filmmaker who was completely carried away in the second half of the sixties and it was more important for him to express political views. However, it is the film in which Godard definitely confirmed that he is an extremely skilled and innovative director, and in “Weekend” there is a particularly striking long scene shot in one frame when Roland and Corinne overtake the chaotic column. Roland (Jean Yanne) and Corinne (Mireille Darc) are a typical bourgeois couple. They both have lovers and both plan to kill each other, and they will head to the countryside to secure an inheritance from Corinne’s dying father. But that trip will turn into complete chaos because as they travel in the convertible, civilization is literally falling apart along the way.
And hardly anyone has managed to show the collapse of civilization in such an innovative and unusual way, because not only will it immediately fall into traffic chaos and collapse, but literally people will die en masse in massive accidents. However, Roland and Corinne don’t bother much about it and the only thing that matters to them is to arrive in time to get their hands on the inheritance. Thus, in one scene, they also have an accident, and while they are getting out of the overturned and burning car, Corinne is worried because she has lost her Hermes purse. Everything here from beginning to end is completely surreal, exaggerated, even disturbing, and it is obvious that Godard believes that civilization has reached a terminal stage and society has begun to turn into savagery.
Everything is just like that, completely wild and abnormal. Along the way, Roland and Corinne meet various historical figures, they walk towards the goal through the scenes of some other movies, dead bodies are all around them. It’s a radical film, just like Godard’s views on the world at the time, and it’s quite obvious that he not only doesn’t care that the world is falling apart, but he seems to open champagne and light a cigar when a cataclysm happens and everything disappears. Just like the vast majority of Godard’s films, “Weekend” is a completely unusual work that will certainly not be to the taste of those who like conventional and standard narrative and style.
However, Godard is an author with whom such a thing does not exist, and indeed each of his films from that best period, which actually ends with “Weekend”, is completely different, more unusual than the previous one. It is interesting how the film ends with the inscription “End of Cinema”, which may have been considered a typical joke of Godard’s, but it turned out that this visionary was serious because he then started making experimental, radical films that are really very difficult to watch. And for “Weekend” you need to have patience and concentration, because from the beginning it is quite difficult to get used to all that chaos, anarchy and strangeness during which apparently nothing important for the story happens. However, as time passes, everything slowly falls into place and it becomes completely clear to us what Godard wanted to convey.