Jean-Luc Godard

Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) 12 March 05

Section: godard

Categories: Film / dvd-mine

Godard quoting or paraphrasing T.S. Eliot in the film:

Everything that is new is thereby automatically traditional.

Tout ce qui est nouveau est de ce fait automatiquement traditionnel.

The conquering of the young woman (Odile / Anna Karina), the stealing of her heart, is part of the same momentum which drives the planned robbery. Doubly so, since Arthur also steals her from Franz, and the money which is to be stolen is itself stolen money, stolen from the government (tax evasion). Further, Arthur would also have stolen the stolen stolen money from his partner in crime, Franz, but is undermined by his gangster family.

And of course Godard steals constantly himself, with his flow of quotes and references, both textual and visual. There is an additional feature on the DVD which goes through the references one at a time — I haven’t watched it yet but will soon.

Godard’s passionate and critical sensibility pulls so much into its orbit: trees in the countryside and trees lining the streets of Paris; villages and villas, bicycles and the metro, hairstyles, hats, diverse literature, social constructs of love, money and crime, Anna Karina’s sweater, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Shakespeare and English class, Kafka and Rimbaud (Franz was named after Franz Kafka, Arthur was named after Arthur Rimbaud). They are all pulled into the mix and they throw light on each other and on the whole. Godard’s best films help us — me anyway — to see better, which is, I feel, a deeply political and moral act, a radical one.

Anna Karina

Title: Bande à Part (Band of Outsiders)

A film by: Jean-Luc Godard

Screenplay: Jean-Luc Godard, adapted from the novel Fool’s Gold by Dolores Hitchens

Starring: Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur (Arthur), Sami Frey (Franz), Louisa Colpeyn, Danièle Grirard, Ernest Menzer, Changal Darget, Georges Staquet, Michèle Seghers, Claude Makovski, Michel Delahye, the Guards at the Musee du Louvre

Cinematography: Raoul Coutard, assisted by Georges Liron

Sound: René Levert, Anoine Bonfanti

Editing: Agnès Guillemot, François Collin

Music: Michel Legrand

Year: 1964

The photo is of Anna Karina, taken from the DVD of Bande à Part as displayed on my eMac, and used here in the spirit of U.S. Title 17 > Chapter 1 > § 107 → Fair use act ()

  • Title: Bande à part (Band of Outsiders)