Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5
Original title: Alphaville: Une Etrange Aventure De Lemmy Caution
France/Italy, 1965. André Michelin Productions, Filmstudio, Chaumiane. Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, based on the poem Capitale de la Douleur by Paul Eluard. Cinematography by Raoul Coutard. Produced by Andre Michelin. Music by Paul Misraki. Production Design by Pierre Guffroy. Film Editing by Agnes Guillemot.
Jean-Luc Godard’s science-fiction thriller has a lot of interesting elements to recommend itself, but the story is flimsy and the pace jarring. Eddie Constantine plays Lemmy Caution, an American private eye who arrives in a city called Alphaville on a planet far away in the galaxy, where an evil scientist has taken over and outlawed love and self-expression. Caution becomes obsessed with a beautiful female resident of the city (Anna Karina), and she becomes the focus of his quest to save the place from its tyrannical ruler. The most impressive thing about this film is that Godard never once uses any bit of futuristic technology, sets or costumes to tell the story, simply allowing framing and lighting to make the whole thing feel otherworldly, and it always does.
Berlin Film Festival Award: Golden Bear