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Bande à part (1964)

Original Title : Bande à part
Director : Jean-Luc Godard
Writer : Jean-Luc Godard
Dolores Hitchens
Genre : Crime
Country : France
Language : French
Music : Michel Legrand
Photography : Raoul Coutard
IMDB ID : 0057869
Official site : http://www.bfi.org.uk/bandeapart
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poster for "Bande à part" by Jean-Luc Godard (1964)
Bande à part (1964) - Jean-Luc Godard
 

Starring

Anna Karina Odile
Claude Brasseur Arthur
Sami Frey Franz
Louisa Colpeyn [Madame Victoria) 
Chantal Darget Arthur's Aunt
Michel Delahaye Le portier
Danièle Girard English Teacher
Jean-Luc Godard Le narrateur
Claude Makovski Pupil
Ernest Menzer Arthur's Uncle
Jean-Claude Rémoleux L'élève buveur d'alcool
Michèle Seghers Student in English Class
Georges Staquet Le légionnaire
 

Plot

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.
 

Comments

Improvisational, character-driven film-noir that riffs on what can be done in the genre Band of Outsiders, from the novel by Dolores Hitchens, is a jazzy and poetic take on the modern crime film, with more successful sequences than I could have expected.Unlike in his debut, Breathless, here the characters - two young men Arthur (Claude Brasseur) &, Franz (Sami Frey) and the young woman Odile (the beautiful Anna Karina) - are quite accessible (at the least watchable) to those who aren't used to Godard's treatments of his main players.That, along with a style including artsy cinematography (I mean that as a compliment) by Raoul Coutard and a striking, upbeat musical score by Michel Legrand, gives Jean-Luc Godard the edge in creating one of the most influential films of the new-wave. Arthur and Franz are different personalities- you can notice the differences in the little moments- but they have a shared idea as being would-be petty criminals.Franz meets Odile in a writing class, and after much talk they hatch a plan to steal all the money that Odile's father has stolen from the government and kept inside her house.The film takes its time leading up to the robbery, which is like a two punch knockout that at first is astonishing and then following it by devastating. What makes Band of Outsiders a great film is not just the last act, but that the lead up to it, the filler, is rather extraordinary in its good grace to keep the audience entertained even as they know they're watching an art film (a good analogy is that Godard narrates much like Cocteau narrated over Blood of a Poet, except that here it's over a crime instead of a series of surrealistic events).Such moments of note are the minute of silence (like in Week End's traffic scene the audience feels much like the characters amid the duration of the scene), the subtly light-hearted feel of the classroom scene, and most notably the Madison dance.The Dance sequence, in which our three anti-heroes turn on the jukebox and give a dance number that immediately calls to mind as inspiration for Travolta and Thruman's number to Chuck Berry in Pulp Fiction.However, after seeing this number, I'm inclined to argue that the Madison is the better of the two.There are also little moments that are funny and/or fascinating, and they go to show there's more emotion in this triangle than would usually be found in any kind of conventional film-noir. After now seeing four of his films (Breathless, Contempt, Week End, and Band of Outsiders), this is my favorite.A+ (on my first viewing)
 
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Bande à part (1964) - Jean-Luc Godard
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Bande à part (1964) - Jean-Luc Godard
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