In the near future, leftist writer Paula goes from Paris to the French town of Atlantic-Cité when she learns of the death of a former colleague and lover, Richard P. Is she there to ... See full summary »
A supposedly-idyllic weekend trip to the countryside turns into an endless 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character, Saint-Just, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud, is based on Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Just (1767 - 1794), a French revolutionary and military leader closely allied with Robespierre. He served with Robespierre on the Committee of Public Safety, becoming heavily involved in the Reign of Terror, and was executed on the same day as Robespierre. Leaud's character is reciting from Saint Just's 'L'esprit de la Révolution et de la Constitution de la France', a founding text of revolutionary ideology. See more »
For the original U.S. theatrical release, distributor Grove Press dubbed the monologues (the garbagemen's piece on black revolution and the hippie's "ocean" poem) into English, although the rest of the film was in the original French with subtitles. A short credits sequence was also appended to the end of the film. See more »
Reminding us somewhat of the sensibility of Bunuel, or of Fellini, or even the Rossellini of 'Voyage in Italia' with its terminally bickering couple on a motoring holiday (the film was financed and partly made in Italy), Godard's gleefully destructive impulses wilfully contrive all manner of unsurvivable collisions - both physical and metaphysical.
A burning meteor of a film, it fizzes like a bomb with the primordial purpose of such epic and incomprehensible destruction as encompasses the death of the world and the resurrection from its ashes of a new-made and uncontrovertible fundamentalism, punned in the Stone-faced guerrilla rock-band of the Front Liberation de Maine-et-Ouse.
The film crackles with all the energy of the sinister clown-like hippie Angel of Extermination, whose anarchic violence is an efflorescence of energy growing from the barrel of a gun: 'Flamboyance' as he styles the approved modus operandi.
Pure, elemental energy. This is a burning poetical judgement on a world lost in the void. Its formlessness follows its function, and thereby reforms our sense of the possible.
Brilliant incandescent explosion of the hallucinations of an entire age: 'SHELL' IS A PUN.
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