Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Movie: Alphaville (1965)

Woody Haut once wrote that both poetry and pulp fiction start from scratch. One film that is right in the middle between poetry and pulp fiction is Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville. In the film the hero kills the evil central computer by reading it Paul Éluard's poetry.

The film stars Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution, the hero of cheap French crime flicks, originating from Peter Cheyney's once-popular novels. Alphaville is a mix of parody, pastiche, deconstruction and homage to the cheap genre, timed to the rhythm of the Lemmy Caution's gun, Paul Misraki's pounding but jazzy music, hysterical car drives through the suburbs of Paris. The film is at times pure poetry in motion: the image changes into negative all of sudden, people stagger strangely in the corridors of the central computer building, the lights flicker, the screen is filled with neon-light words.

Seems like Todd Mason isn't doing his usual Tuesday round-up, but I'll post this anyway and add a link to his blog here.

3 comments:

jedidiah ayres said...

man, I was thinking a LOT about Alphaville this weekend when I watched Cory McAbee's The American Astronaut and Stingray Sam

Juri Nummelin said...

Only heard about those, but they sound interesting enough. Will have to check them.

jedidiah ayres said...

They're a lot of fun, and great examples of confidence and specificity of vision trumping budget with spectacular results