The Avant Garde movement in French Cinema during the ’50s and ’60s sought to elevate film making to the same high level of artistic endeavor as painting or the novel. Auteurs such as Truffaut, Rohmer, and Godard all worked within this concept where the director is the ‘author’ of the piece and imbues the work with their own specific imprint. That stylistic concept, as well as an ambition for naturalism in look and narrative, set the foundation for what would become the golden age of the director in Hollywood filmmaking during the late ’60s and early ’70s.
Godard’s Week End is a perfect example of what was once derisively described as France’s New Wave cinema. The film concerns a bourgeois couple driving to the country to tie up the woman’s inheritance. It’s not the arrival that’s the story, nor the fact that both she and her husband plot to have the other killed so they can be with their own paramour on the side. The real story is the increasingly bizarre and violent trip they take, peppered as it is with car crashes and dead bodies.
For us, it’s also about the cars, and there are few films that offer an opportunity to ogle so many French (and other) cars of the era. The main protagonists start out their trip in an awesome Facillia, although that sadly doesn’t make it to the third act. There’s also a ton of just fabulous stuff on display, including a Matra M530, Honda S800!, and even a ’65 Plymouth Barracuda. You can catch a smidgeon of those in the trailer after the jump, and you’ll be able to pay close attention to them too, not distracted by dialog, as the trailer is in French.
I can’t find Week End anywhere to stream, but again your local library might just have a copy to check out if you ask.