Band of Outsiders


Directed by Jean Luc Godard

My 5th experience with Godard. I first watched Breathless, Une Femme Est Une Femme, and Vivre Sa Vie in a order and I could sense a gradual evolution in experimentation and growth as a filmmaker, despite my still holding Breathless as his best (though every other day I flip to VSV). However, for my 4th I’d jumped ahead and watched Pierrot Le Fou. This one left me cold. It felt like a retread of things he’d done bigger and better with the aforementioned three and I started to worry about how I would feel about his other works.

And so enters Band of Outsiders (or Band á Parté, of which Tarantino famously named his production company after). It’s a great film. It carries over the more restrained experimentation which gives it the “devil may care” attitude that made Breathless such a breath of fresh air (I want to chop off my fingers for writing that but then how would I hit the backspace button? My nose I suppose…). Few filmmakers can capture a feeling of aimlessness the way Godard can as he doesn’t make it especially melancholic but liberating, which is a perfect word for describing the way he makes his films. He is renowned for throwing formal approaches to sound, cinematography, editing, and story to the wind and this may be his best example of making a somewhat generic plot feel completely refreshed and rejuvenated without becoming overbearing. This one feels like a movie but a movie as rebellious as its protagonists. The way he chooses to use music and edit create a dark sense of humor that never ceases to punctuate scenes with joy or fascinate.

However, if Godard doesn’t work for you, I’m not sure this would sway you. If you aren’t sure, give it a shot. It certainly placed me back on the wagon.

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