Monday, 25 March 2013

Bande a part (The Outsiders).

It was the title of revolutionary French Director Jean-Luc Godards reimagined gangster movie that Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender used for their production company in 1991. A further Tarantino connection with Bande a part (1964) is the dance routine known as the ‘Madison scene’, which included the three main characters and took place in a coffee bar, which he is said to have been the influence for the dance scene in Pulp Fiction (1994) between Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega in Rabbit Jack Slims Restaurant.

Jean-Luc Godard was a critic at the hugely influential magazine Cahiers Du Cinéma in the early 1950s. He found that the traditions of French cinema at the time (which he believed favoured an established set of directors and actors and were not reflective of the political concerns of the young) were outmoded and irrelevant. He felt the films appealed only to the bourgeoisie, so he and other critics including Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer made their own films. This movement became the French New Wave, or Nouvelle Vague which contained then unconventional filmic elements such as handheld camerawork, non-professional actors, shooting on location, live sound and a disregard for the rules and formula’s of mainstream Hollywood cinema.

The Madison.

Four years after Breathless (1960), Godard’s best-known film, he made this tribute to the Hollywood pulp crime movies of the forties. Bande a part involves two restless and streetwise young men Franz (Sami Frey) and Arthur (Claude Brasseur) who enlist the help of a young lady they both fancy, Odile (Danish actress Anna Karina who was married to Godard at the time) to rob the house where she lives with her aunt.

Franz and Arthur play their games.

An entertaining gem with cool set pieces which not only included the afore mentioned dance scene but also a headlong race through the Louvre. Godard’s trademarks of this period are ever present including a cool jazz soundtrack, jump cuts, smooth traveling shots and a relaxed moral tone.  A good place to start if your not familiar with the Frenchman’s body of work and then move on to A bout de soufflé (1960) and then enjoy Brigitte Bardot at the very pinnacle of her beauty in 1963’s Le mepris

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