Band à Part(y)

Lilabet Johnstongil, ’15

            Bonjour, my petite croissants. Do you like somewhat goofy French movies? Do you want to impress adults and film nerds alike with your amazing knowledge of French New Wave cinema? Well, if you don’t, don’t read this article. If you do, watch Band of Outsiders (or Band à Part, as it was called in French). It is très New Wave: it was released in 1964 and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, who is probably the most important (at least the most well-known) French New Wave director. In the film, two friends, Franz and Arthur (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur), go to an English class, but not really to learn English. Rather, they are both interested in seducing the beautiful but somewhat childish Odile (the ever-perfect Anna Karina), and robbing her aunt’s house. Of course, this movie isn’t really about the robbery, even though it pretends to be. It’s only really about the theft in the way seminar is a history class: the crime (or the history) is there, but it’s not what keeps you interested and isn’t really the point. What the point actually is I don’t know, which is why you should watch this movie and try to figure it our for yourself. If the plot sounds boring to you (even though it shouldn’t), then I suggest watching it even just for the quirk value: the movie has half a minute of absolute silence for almost no reason, a choreographed dance sequence in the middle of a coffee shop, and a supposedly record-breaking run through the Louvre. It’s silly and yet still manages to be deadly serious when it needs to be. Watch this movie while drinking a Coke if you want to feel like Anna Karina.

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