Saturday, November 19, 2005

Day 6: “Alphaville”

Director: Jean-Luc Godard 1965
The film is subtitled “A strange adventure of Lemmy Caution”—and strange it is. Caution was a rough-and-tumble private eye played in several films by Eddie Constantine. Godard takes the character and turns him into a futuristic secret agent. Alphaville, the city Caution infiltrates, is really Paris circa 1965, but Godard shoots in enough modern settings to give a feel of the future. In Aphaville, love and other sensitivities are banned. Caution falls for Anna Karina (who wouldn’t?) and eventually helps her escape Alphaville—and break through her brainwashing to learn to love. The relationship is similar to the one between Harrison Ford and Sean Young in 1982’s “Blade Runner.”
“Alphaville” is very entertaining. Caution makes references to Dick Tracy, and one of the bad guys is a Dr. Nosferatu. Rebels are executed by being forced to stand on the diving board of an indoor pool, where they are machine-gunned. Those who survive that are then finished off by a team of female synchronized swimmers. Strange indeed.


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