Band of Outsiders

One thing that I have learned while watching these films by Godard is how much I enjoy them. Sometimes they are difficult to understand or slowly paced, but once I make it through the whole thing and you reflect on what happened, I always have to say “Wow. That was an interesting film.” This film, which Tarantino named his production company after, is no different.

The story is about a young naive girl who accidental slips to a man in her English class that there is a lot of money stashed at her aunt’s house. The man schemes with his friend to steal the money and take the girl with them. The friend decides to seduce the naive girl and she falls in love with him, therefore willing to do anything that he wants. Of course, everything goes wrong.

What I like about this film is sort of hard to explain. I guess I will take one scene and maybe that might help. This film is pretty realistic most of the way through, unlike A Woman is A Woman, for instance. However when the three main characters are in a cafe, discussing how and when they are going to pull off the robbery, they pause for a minute to dance. They do this synchronized dance that involves them turning around in a square, sometimes facing the camera other times not. Sometimes they are in frame and other times they are not. Sometimes there is music playing over their movements and other times it is the narrator speaking over the scraping of their feet and the snaps of their fingers. The break in reality is abrupt and yet that is exactly how it is supposed to be. There is no other way for these characters to express their feelings towards each other, other than doing this weird, awkward dance. It’s poetic, yet rough. It is like the rest of the film. Several times, I wondered why Godard chose to shoot that and not something else. Then I realize that is the way he shoots film in general. He would rather do something that is less obvious, yet just as true to the characters he constructed than to take a straight shot from plot point A to plot point B.

 

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