The end of Godard's first period is one of the most incisive, calamitous explorations of nihilism ever attempted in cinema. The barren void at the heart of the bourgeois West is pulled and prodded until its barriers come crashing down and the society that has lived on it for so long can literally do nothing but eat itself to death. This is not a "revolutionary" film the way that many describe it; it is apocalyptic.
A journey to mankind's private hell: the indifference before the death of a family in a car wreck, the burning of Emily Brontë, the killing of communists by capitalists and vice-versa, the speeches of african revolutionaries and XVIII century French leftists, the assassination of a mother for an inheritance: but all is avenged by cannibal hippies. Week-end stands for Godard as Saló stands for Pasolini. Masterpiece.
My god this film is absolutely genius. Battleship Potemkin to the Searchers, Battleship Potemkin to The Searchers, do you copy? Emily Bronte set on fire, characters metaphorically representing the ultimate decay of the earth by the United States, Godard put everything in his head into this work, and is probably the only director who could make something with so little restraint and have it come off so ingeniously.
On one hand it's disgusting, relentless, and way too nihilistic and one sided. Godard isn't being playful or making art here, he's just masturbating with left wing politics and pop culture influences. Though I can't say I hated it. The cinematography was beautiful, one expects nothing less from Coutard and it's unlike any other film ever made. But complex and riveting cinema it is not.
WEEKEND marked the beginning of Jean-Luc Godard's descent into his underground Mao-ist period, but it before he completely disappeared into himself he released this ferocious roar of a film - a radical, thrilling descent into capitalist hell as seen through the eyes of a couple on a weekend excursion who find themselves in a French bourgeois countryside littered with car wrecks and cannibals. A masterpiece.
Watching Godard's apocalyptic masterpiece in the midst of the Occupy movement is a poignant experience. Weekend's portrayal of the savagery of consumerism, and its indictment of bourgeois ignorance, is intensely relevant. Ferocious, witty, and altogether powerful, it is one of the highest accomplishments of cinema.