Weekend (1967)

Streaming on HBO Max (and Criterion Channel) | imdb | trailer

The esteemed Jean-Luc Godard’s art films are pretty hit or miss for me. However this one is excellent overall, and probably my favorite. A couple jump in their car and many strange things happen, making this (to my recollection) the first surrealistic road trip movie. Here’s the truly interesting thing about Weekend: it fetishizes traffic accidents SIX YEARS before J.G. Ballard’s book “Crash” was published. Ballard was a casual fan of Godard and saw this film when it came out. That makes it seem that a seed was planted by Weekend, however he is quoted as saying “Godard’s got it wrong.” That means if Ballard was truly influenced, it was to take the car crash idea in his own direction. Anyhow… the only thing that blemishes what would have been a perfect movie is that Godard interrupts the action with characters talking to the camera about political and social issues. Yes, this was very innovative and edgy in 1967, but those issues are so specific to late ‘60s France that they cease to function. Last time I watched the film I just fast forwarded through those bits. You might want to do the same. Otherwise this is a beautiful, dark, weird, and sometimes funny masterpiece.

Available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.

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