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A supposedly idyllic weekend trip to the countryside turns into a never-ending nightmare of traffic jams, revolution, cannibalism and murder as French bourgeois society starts to collapse under the weight of its own consumer preoccupations Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
I risk sounding like a film snob when I say this, but I really enjoy Jean-Luc Goddard's early work. Sure, his post-narrative films (everything he made after "Week End") are pointless and dull, but his narrative films are always fascinating to watch. Often, they're so innovative they become quite entertaining. "Week End" is one of his finest from the classic Goddard period. Its one of the angriest and shockingly nihilistic movies ever made, one that seems to be giving a giant middle finger to just about everything. There's not a single likable character in the whole thing, and our two "protagonists" are among the most despicable characters ever. The opening title card proclaiming this to be a "Film found in a dump" is really accurate.
Despite the intense misanthropy on screen, its oddly quite enjoyable to watch. Because the two leads are so detestable, we really never care about the horrible crap that happens to them. What does happen to them is constantly surreal and full of revolutionary political undertones. If you aren't big on subtext, don't worry. The film is constantly hypnotizing in its sheer strangeness that if the politics are lost on you, it won't matter too much.
The direction by Goddard is pretty much what we've come to expect from him. Despite his projects being very different from each other, his direction style seemed to remain constant. Its slowly paced, occasionally aggravatingly so, but Goddard doesn't really care about that either it seems. The acting isn't anything extraordinary, but the performers act well as mouthpieces for the themes and events. "Week End" is still one of the greatest films ever made and possibly Goddard's most enjoyable production. (10/10)
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