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aka - Band Of Outsiders, The
France 1964
Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard
97 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

Bande A Part

Bande à Part, Godard's sequel to his benchmark Nouvelle Vague film, Breathless (1960), is based on Dolores Hitchens' 1950s pulp novel Fool's Gold which was passed on to him byTruffaut. It is rightly regarded as one of the iconoclastic director's most felicitous films.

Shot on location in Paris with first class photography by Raoul Coutard and starring Godard's love of the day, Anna Karina, along with Claude Brasseur (Arthur) and Sami Frey (Franz) and with a narration by Godard, the film succeeds because of its freewheeling irreverence (aided by the Michel Legrand score) and has the same kind of devil-may-care spirit that would show up, for instance, in Richard Lester's A Hard Day's Night (1964). It does however have a darker twist, not just in the character of Arthur but in the typically Godardian interpellation of Arthur and Franz reading aloud the tragedies of the day from the newspaper whilst the main set-up, one that recalls Truffaut's Jules And Jim (1961) is essentially about the wastefulness of youth rather than the crime that the three protagonists commit. In this respect the film looks forwards to the director's politically tendentious One Plus One, a mere four years away.

FYI: The famous scene in which the three leads dance to "The Madison", a hit of the day, was recycled by Hal Hartley in Simple Men (1992) as was the film's title by Quentin Tarentino who called his production company A Band Apart (good one, Quentin)..




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