Weekend (1967 film)

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Weekend
Weekendflm.jpg
theatrical release poster
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard
Story by "La autopista del Sur" (short story)
by Julio Cortázar
(uncredited)
Starring Mireille Darc
Jean Yanne
Music by Antoine Duhamel
Cinematography Raoul Coutard
Edited by Agnès Guillemot
Distributed by Athos Films
Release date
  • 29 December 1967 (1967-12-29) (France)
Running time
105 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget $250,000 (estimated)

Weekend (French: Week-end) is a 1967 black comedy[1][2] film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne, both of whom were mainstream French TV stars. Jean-Pierre Léaud, iconic comic star of numerous French New Wave films including Truffaut's Les Quatre Cent Coups (The Four Hundred Blows) and Godard's earlier Masculin Féminin, appeared in two roles. Raoul Coutard served as cinematographer; Weekend would be his last collaboration with Godard for over a decade.

The film was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 18th Berlin International Film Festival in 1968.[3][4]

Plot[edit]

Roland (Jean Yanne) and Corinne (Mireille Darc) are a bourgeois couple. Each has a secret lover and conspires to murder the other. They drive out to Corinne's parents' home in the country to secure her inheritance from her dying father, resolving to resort to murder if necessary.

The trip becomes a chaotically picaresque journey through a French countryside populated by bizarre characters and punctuated by violent car accidents. After their own Facel-Vega is destroyed in a collision, they wander through a series of vignettes involving class struggle and figures from literature and history, such as Louis Antoine de Saint-Just (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and Emily Brontë (Blandine Jeanson).

When Corinne and Roland eventually arrive at her parents' place, they discover that her father has died and her mother refuses to give them a share of the spoils. They kill her and hit the road again, only to fall into the hands of a group of hippie revolutionaries (calling themselves the Seine and Oise Liberation Front) that support themselves through theft and cannibalism. Killed during an escape attempt, Roland is chopped up and cooked.

Cast[edit]

Background[edit]

According to a letter from the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar to his translator Suzanne Jill Levine, the indirect inspiration for the movie was Cortázar's short story "The Southern Thruway." Cortázar explained that while a British producer was considering filming his story, a third party presented the idea to Godard, who was unaware of its source. Because he had had no input on the making of the film, Cortázar vetoed the suggestion to translate the story's title as "Week-End" to take advantage of the tie-in.[5]

Themes and style[edit]

Weekend has been compared to Alice in Wonderland, the James Bond series, and the works of Marquis de Sade.[6][7] Tim Brayton described it as a "film that reads itself, tells the viewer what that reading should be, and at the same time tells the viewer that this reading is inaccurate and should be ignored."[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lorefice, Mike (15 March 2004). "Week End". Raging Bull Movie Reviews. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  2. ^ Movie Gazette (2 March 2005). "Week End (1967)". Movie Gazette. Web Gazette. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "18th Berlin International Film Festival: June 21 - July 2, 1968". Annual Archives: 1968. Berlin International Film Festival. Retrieved 8 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "Weekend (1968): Awards". IMDb. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  5. ^ Cortázar, Julio. Cartas (2012) tomo 4 p.292.
  6. ^ Hoberman, J. (5 October 2011). "Weekend: When Godard Burned the Movie House Down". Village Voice. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 
  7. ^ "Weekend Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 3 July 2018. 
  8. ^ Brayton, Tim (21 January 2008). "Week End (1967)". Alternate Ending. Retrieved 15 February 2017. 

External links[edit]