Jean-Luc Godard – Band of Outsiders (1964)

1960s: Days of Rage

“Blame it on the Madison. Or blame it on Arthur, Franz, and Odile’s gleeful race through the Louvre in an attempt to break the world record (held by an American, of course) for the quickest visit ever. Blame it on the minute of silence; the way the director credits himself as ‘Jean-Luc Cinéma Godard’; the way our heroes pass under a stylish neon sign on the place de Clichy that reads ‘Nouvelle Vague.’ But most of all, blame it on the Madison dance sequence, later to be quoted by a parade of hip directors, that 1964’s Band of Outsiders at first seems a film of gestures rather than a singular, coherent drama. Utterly seductive in its digressions, limned with Parisian nostalgia and metafilmic quips, it’s a movie in which the flimsy caper plot risks seeming pure pretext. ‘Un plan?’ asks Odile, turning directly to the camera. ‘Pourquoi?’ Arrogantly sans souci…

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