Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
France/Italy, 1965. Films Georges de Beauregard, Rome Paris Films, Societe Nouvelle de Cinematographie, Dino de Laurentiis Cinematografica. Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, based on the novel Obsession by Lionel White. Cinematography by Raoul Coutard. Produced by Georges de Beauregard. Music by Antoine Duhamel. Production Design by Pierre Guffroy. Film Editing by Francoise Collin.
Jean-Paul Belmondo takes his fancy Italian wife to a party, leaving his maid’s niece (Anna Karina) to babysit their children. What we find out in a few short plot jumps is that the two of them were lovers years before, and as soon as they see each other again decide to run off together, leaving a crazy trail of crime and mayhem behind them. This marvelous Jean-Luc Godard film, possibly his masterpiece, has it all: the jarring stylistic whimsy that the auteur employed in order to make himself the beloved director of pretentious film students everywhere, the glamour of its stars (who have rarely been more appealing), healthy slices of genuine humour and a colour pallette that always dazzles the eye with its beauty. This is Godard railing against the conventions of film with a joyful attitude, not the angry, tiresome one that would take over later.
The Criterion Collection: #421