Bande à part (film)

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Bande à part
Band a Part French poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Written by Jean-Luc Godard (uncredited)
Based on novel Fools' Gold
by Dolores Hitchens
Starring Anna Karina
Sami Frey
Claude Brasseur
Music by Michel Legrand
Cinematography Raoul Coutard
Edited by Agnès Guillemot
Production
company
Anouchka Films
Orsay Films
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • 5 August 1964 (1964-08-05)
Running time
97 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget $120,000 (estimated)

Bande à part (French pronunciation: ​[bɑ̃d a paʁ]) is a 1964 French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It was released as Band of Outsiders in North America; its French title derives from the phrase faire bande à part, which means "to do something apart from the group".[1] The film is about three people who commit a robbery. It received positive critical reviews, and its dance scene has been referenced several times in popular culture.

Plot[edit]

A young woman named Odile (Anna Karina) meets a man named Franz (Sami Frey) in an English language class. She has told him of a large pile of money stashed in the villa where she lives with her aunt Victoria and Mr. Stolz in Joinville, a Parisian suburb. Franz tells his friend Arthur (Claude Brasseur) of the money, and the two make a plan to steal it.

Franz and Arthur go to the English class, where Arthur flirts with Odile and asks her about the money. Odile goes home and finds the money in Stolz's room. She then meets Franz and Arthur, and they go to a café, order drinks, and dance. Odile tells Arthur that she loves him, and the two go back to his place and spend the night together.

The next day, Arthur's uncle learns of the money and wants a cut of it. Franz, Arthur, and Odile decide to commit the robbery sooner than they planned. The three meet up and run through the Louvre in record time. That night, they go to Odile's house and find that the door to Stolz's room is locked. Arthur tells Odile to find the key. Franz and Arthur return to the house the following night, and Odile tells them that the locks have been changed. They tie and gag Victoria, before locking her in a closet. Then, they go to Stolz's room and see that the money is not there anymore. They search the house and find only a small amount of cash. When they open the closet to interrogate Victoria, she appears to be dead. Franz and Odile leave, and Arthur stays behind.

While driving away, Franz and Odile see Arthur's uncle heading to the villa, and they go back. They then see that Arthur has found the rest of the money in a doghouse. Arthur and his uncle get into a shootout and kill each other. Stolz returns to the house, and Victoria is shown to be alive. Franz and Odile drive off with the small stack of money from the robbery. They flee to South America and realize that they love each other.

Cast[edit]

  • Character names are not indicated in on-screen cast credits.

Production[edit]

Bande à part was directed by Jean-Luc Godard and was filmed in 25 days.[2] Godard described it as "Alice in Wonderland meets Franz Kafka".[3] The film is an adaptation of the 1958 novel Fools' Gold by American author Dolores Hitchens.[2]

Reception[edit]

Film critic Pauline Kael described Bande à part as "a reverie of a gangster movie" and "perhaps Godard's most delicately charming film".[4][5] Bande à part is often considered one of Godard's most accessible films; Amy Taubin of the Village Voice called it "a Godard film for people who don't much care for Godard".[6] Its accessibility has endeared the film to a broader audience. For example, it was the only Godard film selected for Time's All-TIME 100 movies.[7] Bande à part was also ranked No. 79 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema" in 2010.[8] In tribute, Quentin Tarantino named his film production company "A Band Apart".[9]

Bande a part has a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 48 reviews, with an average rating of 8/10. The website's critical consensus calls the film "an oddball heist movie with an dark streak that picks apart every rule in filmmaking."[10]

Memorable scenes[edit]

(l. to r.) Arthur, Odile and Franz turn to different positions as they dance what they called "the Madison dance".

When Franz, Arthur and Odile are in a crowded café, Arthur and Odile decide to dance. Franz joins them as they perform a dance routine. The music is R&B or soul music composed for the film by Michel Legrand, but Anna Karina said the actors called it "the Madison dance", alluding to a novelty dance of the time.[11] The Madison scene influenced the dance scene with Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.[12] It also influenced scenes in Hal Hartley's Simple Men[13] and Martin Hynes' The Go-Getter.[14] In Roger Michell's Le Week-End, the principal characters see the dance scene on a television in their Paris hotel room and briefly dance along with it. The final scene of the movie is a longer reenactment in a café after one of the characters plays the music on a jukebox. The entire dance scene was also used as the music video for the song "Dance with Me" by Nouvelle Vague from their album Bande à Part (2006). The group took their name from a scene in the film, where Arthur and Odile are walking on a street and pass a business with Nouvelle Vague (New Wave or New Trend) in large letters over the door.[citation needed]

In a later scene, Franz, Arthur and Odile attempt to break the world record for running through the Louvre museum. The narration informs the viewer that their time was 9 minutes and 43 seconds, which broke the record set by Jimmy Johnson of San Francisco at 9 minutes and 45 seconds. The Louvre scene is referenced in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers in which its characters break the Louvre record.[citation needed]

The Louvre scene is further referenced in the 2017 documentary Faces Places, directed by Agnès Varda and JR.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chang, Justin (5 May 2016). "Review B-movie fantasy meets hard-scrabble reality in Jean-Luc Godard's exquisite 'Band of Outsiders'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Criterion Collection DVD book
  3. ^ Archer, Eugene (19 September 1964). "Film Festival: New Wave at Its Crest". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  4. ^ Kael, Pauline (10 September 1966). "Godard Among the Gangsters". The New Republic. Retrieved 17 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Jean-Luc Godard's Band of Outsiders". Film Forum. The Moving Image. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  6. ^ Taubin, Amy (15 August 2001). "Prime Movers". The Village Voice. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  7. ^ Time Staff (3 October 2011). "ALL-TIME 100 Movies". Time. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  8. ^ "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema". Empire. 11 June 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  9. ^ Turan, Kenneth (17 August 2001). "Godard's "Band of Outsiders" returns with its charms intact". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  10. ^ "Band of Outsiders (Bande à part) (1964)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  11. ^ Karina, Anna. Band of Outsiders (Interview) (DVD). Criterion Collection. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  12. ^ "Bande À Part (Band Of Outsiders)". Film4. Channel 4. Archived from the original on 12 November 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  13. ^ Hernandez, Eugene (6 June 2001). "DAILY NEWS: Godard Re-release; Cowboy's Music Doc; HSI and Tomorrow's Slate; Perrier Fests". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  14. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (28 May 2008). "Martin Hynes Talks M. Ward, The Origins of She & Him and the Music of 'The Go-Getter'". The Playlist. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 

External links[edit]