In Weekend, we see a lot of fake violence done towards people, and real violence done towards animals. Why the discrepancy? How is this contrasting depiction of violence part of Jean-Luc Godard’s satire in the film?
In Weekend, there are quite a few satirical altercations between people of different classes (particularly middle and working class people). Are we meant to take these altercations seriously? Why aren’t they treated with more realism in the film? Where is the satire here?
As in most of his films, Godard uses quite a bit of jump-cut editing in Weekend. How does it work in conjunction with Godard’s satirical (or thematic) concerns in the film? (Be sure to discuss a specific instance of jump-cut editing in your paragraph).
In my comments on Weekend, I mentioned that the film distances or alienates the audience. Godard does this in the way he uses (and abuses) sound and his actors. How and why does Godard do this? Choose either sound or acting and show how Godard uses alienation to further his artistic and political aims.
I mentioned that Weekend is full of longeurs – long passages in which nothing much happens. Why is the film full of longeurs? Is this part of Godard’s effort to alienate the audience, or to draw attention to the artistry of the camera-work? Or more generally: how does it benefit the viewer to go to a film that frustrates enjoyment?
At one point in the film, an Algerian man recites the political speech of a Congolese revolutionary, and a Congolese man recites the political speech of an Algerian revolutionary. This scene is very didactic and “in-your-face” in its revolutionary politics. It’s also quite boring for the audience (including Roland and Corinne, who we see quite bored by the speeches in multiple shots). Is this Godard’s attempt at political propaganda, or rather an attempt to illustrate the ideological fanaticism and divisiveness of revolutionary movements?
Like many French New Wave films, Weekend seems more influenced by lower-grade “B” movies than by the slick film-making of “classical” Hollywood films. Weekend also seems critical of “high” art forms such as painting and music. What kind of statement is Godard trying to make about his work of art vis-a-vis “high” art, or, by extension, so-called Western Civilization?
In your textbook, Godard is associated with art cinema (as an auteur). In my presentation on Weekend, I associated him with Third Cinema, which is highly critical of art cinema. So is Weekend an art film or a Third Cinema film? Can if be both?
In my blog posts on Apocalypse Now, I discussed how the film shows the dark side of the 1960s American counter-culture. How does Weekend show the dark side of the 1960s European counterculture, and why? How does Weekend compare in this regard to Apocalypse Now?
The cannibal communards that we see at the end of Weekend are students, at a time of increasing radicalization among the student population in France. What is Godard’s attitude towards students in the film? For Godard, are they too radical or not radical enough (or not the right kind of radical)?
Weekend refers to the bourgeois past-time of driving to the country on the weekends. How and why does the film satirize this? How does it compare with American ideas concerning leisure?
Compare/contrast the attitude towards sexuality shown by Ingmar Bergman in Persona and Godard in Weekend, based on the two clips I showed you in class.
Some critics claim that Weekend is a horror film – or more specifically a zombie movie. Show how the film is a zombie movie and, more importantly, discuss how this works in relation to Godard’s larger themes and formal experiments in Weekend.
At the end of Weekend, Godard makes a pun in the intertitles. First we see “FIN” (the end), which appears at the end of many French films. Then we see “FIN DU CINEMA” (the end of cinema). What is Godard trying to say here? Is it really his aim to destroy the cinema as we know it? If yes, how and why does he do this in Weekend?
Show the influence of the French New Wave on any film that you’ve ever seen. (That is, show how and why the film is intertextual, alienating, or self-reflexive). Does the film you’re discussing use principles of the French New Wave for artistic reasons, or just because it’s “cool”?
Make the case that one of the three items listed below are more significant than the other two in Weekend: