‘Week End’ by Jean Luc Godard (1967)

I have to admit I don’t know where to start with this one. What a strange film! I know that French films are renowned for being quirky but this was something else. I sat through what felt like hours and hours being utterly confused but I must have been hooked as I didn’t simply turn it off. Jean Luc Godard has made this film so unpredictable that you want to carry on watching to see what on earth is going to happen next.

Despite my constant confusion, I paid very close attention to the ten minute (or so) tracking shot of the traffic jam. A clever trick. Through the use of sound to accompany the moving image, I found my emotions changing. It’s incredible how important audio is in film and the impact it can have upon the viewer.

 Jean Luc Godard has also added snippets of humour to accompany a frustrating situation; people playing chess on the road, footballs being thrown from one car to another and various other unusual things that you wouldn’t normally expect to see taking place on the road. Despite this, I got so irritated by the constant honking of horns that I couldn’t help but constantly wonder when the scene was going to be over even though I was enjoying the experience of watching it at the same time. The use of dramatic music at points built up tension as I thought I was going to see what has happened but Godard had added this purposely in order for the viewers to get a false impression. Argh! I just wanted to find out what caused the traffic jam!  Later on I almost felt quite guilty for thinking this as we find out that there has been a bad crash and we see the dead bodies of the people involved (including children) lying at the side of the road, covered in blood.

So that was that. After this scene, the film just got even stranger and bloodier. If I tell someone I watched a film where someone cracked an egg on a vagina and people ate each other they probably wouldn’t believe me. Well it’s all in ‘Week End’. So, if you’re up for watching something out of your comfort zone then I recommend this.

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