Monday, November 17, 2008

Band of Outsiders

Friday, November 14, 2008

First, holy shit there is less than two weeks until this blog hits it's year anniversary and I stop posting for every movie I watch. Damn.

Second, I'm a good guy. Even though I really disliked Breathless when I saw it back in college, I was stilling willing to give Godard another chance. I mean, people love the guy so damn much I figure it's not fair of me to write him off because of one movie. And even though I didn't exactly flip for Band of Outsiders, it was good enough that I bet I'll check out another one of his some day.

Band of Outsiders is actually kinda similar to Breathless. Both are sort of a French New Wave riff on American crime films, where the main characters are so laid back that they spend more time hanging out and bullshitting than they do committing any crimes. But the big difference here is that I found BoO to be entertaining and even a little charming. Breathless, at least the way I saw it, wanted to capture this idealized notion of rebellious youth and romance inherent in the genre, but I found the style obnoxiously self-conscious and, frankly, I kind of hated the main characters and didn't want to hang out with them. It's not just that they were bad people, but I found them vapid and boring too, and the movie seemed so in love with their free-spirited-ness or some shit that it completely turned me off.

The Band of Outsiders aren't exactly great people themselves, but they have wit and charm that I thought the narcissist creeps in Breathless lacked. The best stretches of this film are when the characters are just chilling out... an extended dance sequence where the narrator explains what's going on in everyone's head is particularly memorable.

I wasn't crazy about this one, but I liked it, and more so than Breathless could at least understand why someone might love this film. It was a lot more charming and inviting, so much so that you almost wish Godard would have left all the crime stuff out and made it into a more Truffaut-esque comedy-drama.

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