Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Godard is making equal nods to sci-fi and film noir/detective genre film in this 1965 film. It is interesting to see Eddie Constantine cast as his notorious character Lemmy Caution in this film. In some ways he is parodying his character, but staying true to the personality of Lemmy Caution. It is clear that Godard feels a sentimental attachment to the film noir/detective genres, but he also wants to comment on how the plots in such films can be totally over the top and/or predictable. For example, when Lemmy first enters his hotel room and is immediately chased by a man trying to kill him who crashes through (I believe) three glass doors in pursuit of him- and this is all with a naked woman in the bathtub! It is these kind of over-the-top scenes that make it clear that Godard is poking fun at the genre he loves.
In taking on the sci-fi genre, Godard is not so concerned with sophisticated special effects (like other directors in the genre) but rather keeps true to his style of throwing in bits of literature, poetry, and whatever else he was interested in at the time. In that, his "signature" is still very apparent in the film. I would not say that this film is merely a loving tribute to the genre. Godard seems to be saying that the genre (film noir/detective) had reached a certain peak at that time, and it needed a change. A change that should give the genre some deeper meaning or posed more controversial questions than it had in the past. In essence, it seems that while the film was a tribute to his love of the genre, the film was also a warning that if filmmakers continue to churn out films with stereotypical plots in the film noir/detective genre, the genre will lose its relevancy and ability to keep people's attention, and it will instead start to become a parody of itself.

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