"I refuse to become what you call normal."
The rise of individualism against the tyranny of techno-capitalist conformity.
On the surface, Alphaville presents a lot of similarities to another famous sci-fi neo-noir, Blade Runner, laying the foundation almost two decades in advance. Eddie Constantine plays Lemmy Caution, a secret agent who’s part James Bond and part Philip Marlowe; a world-weary detective who looks great in a suit and can hold his own in a fight. He’s come to Alphaville from…
The great Godard tries his hand at sci-fi!....and it doesn't really work.
Possibly Godard's most entertaining movie, with precious little politics and an honest-to-goodness detective-thriller-in-the-future plot. My favorite moments are when Godard pares down the genre he's working in to its barest essentials - a shootout in a hallway is reduced to a second or two, with a quick cut from a forehead bullet wound to a shot of several bad guys unconscious on the floor - handily demonstrating that you don't really need anything more than that (or at least I…
"Time is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along. But I am time. It's a tiger, tearing me apart; but I am the tiger...Time is like a circle which is endlessly described. The declining arc is the past. The inclining arc is the future." - Alpha 60
"The past represents its future. It advances in a straight line, yet it ends by coming full circle." - Lemmy Caution, an true detective
"You have come from the Outlands. What were your feelings when you passed through galactic space?"
"The silence of infinite space appalled me."
"What is the privilege of the dead?"
"To die no more."
"Do you know what illuminates the night?"
I almost hate to say it, but Eddie Constantine, news reporter from Nueva York, has a very punchable face. It doesn't help that he's always poking his nose and outdated camera into places he doesn't belong. But at…
Well, that was trippy. I really don’t have any problems with intellectual Science Fiction, but I think in this case, Godard’s experimental style didn’t do the story a favour.
While it’s not a dumb story, it’s basically a simple one, on the level of a STAR TREK or TWILIGHT ZONE episode, that gets artificially blown up to some pseudo-philosophical, super show-offy, at times unintentionally funny “Look at me, how smart I am” hodgepodge.
Having said that, at least it’s an interesting and still gripping experiment.
Absolutely hate this film, absolutely love it!
That ... VOICE .. drives me up the wall, but that ... VOICE .. also adds to the entire chilling atmosphere of the movie. Godard basically shot a sci-fi movie using Paris as it was in the 1960's - no futuristic technical gizmos, just Paris as is - and he pulls it off. Till this day I don't know how the heck he managed to do it, but he did. A strange film…
A dystopian noir from the 60s? Of course I was intrigued. Sadly, I was a little underwhelmed, but only because I had such lofty expectations. Though poetic, it's a bit dense, Lemmy is one-dimensional, and Alpha 60's voice is irritating. But of course, these flaws aren't all that major. Even without any special effects or constructed sets, it expertly uses mood and dialogue to make Alphaville a believable place, devoid of any humanity, far, far away from home.
"What transforms darkness into light?"
It's absolutely insane how many beautiful shots (courtesy of Raoul Coutard) there are in this movie. Alphaville is without a doubt a masterpiece. It's not interested in being a simple thriller about good guys going against the bad guys. That can be done very well, though. In Alphaville we follow the trenchcoat-donning detective Lemmy Caution into Alphaville, a futuristic city where people are forbidden from being...well...human. Emotion and individualism among other things are crimes…
[Seen at Cinematheque] [DCP]
It's as if someone threw a hard-boiled anarchic private eye into a Orwellian future and filmed the events that took place in a stylistic, avant garde fashion. (Upon further reading, it seems like I was spot on. Godard took the typecasted actor and transported him into Alphaville.)
The story was, more often than not, relatively indecipherable and the silly croaking narration certainly didn't help. The worldbuilding and storytelling, however, was distinct and auteurist so the film…
Ce n'est jamais facile d'écrire une critique négative d'un film de Godard, on a toujours l'impression de ne pas l'avoir compris, que le problème est avec nous et non avec le film. Mais en regardant Alphaville pour la 2e fois, je me suis tout simplement senti perdu dans son univers, et je ne crois pas que c'était intentionnel. Godard n'est pas particulièrement à l'aise lorsque vient le temps de raconter une histoire linéaire, et son choix de rendre hommage aux…