Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Response XIII- Alphaville

"Alphaville" probably has to be on of the strangest and most boring films I have ever seen. Despite the fact that I did not like this film very much, I feel as if there is a lot one could discuss with a film like this one. This is probably one of the most important films Godard has ever made because in this, I feel as if audiences really begin to see the start of his politicization.

The reason why I think "Alphaville" is the dawn of Godard's creation of political films, is because this film is full of allusions to the Cold War; these references include the inclusion of a French/Soviet newspaper, a woman in the film being named Natasha, and the name of one of the streets in the film is "Enrico Fermi" street. At the end of this film, it becomes evident that Godard is making a statement about left winged politics with the inclusion of such references in "Alphaville."

Godard's makes a statement on his view of the future as well, I can tell that he was not very optimistic about it. The buildings that were shown in this film give away that detail. This film was shot in Paris but Godard chose to show the new, modernist buildings in this film. I believe he did this to give one the sense that the future would be oppressive.

Although the Cold War references in the film were plentiful, I do not think that film enthusiasts admire "Alphaville" for this reason. Despite the fact that I think the allusions were the most fascinating aspects of the film, I believe Godard's parody of sci-fi and film noir were noticed more by audiences. After seeing this film, I asked myself "What genre of film does Alphaville fall under?" I thought to myself that it was "sci-fi-film noir," but that sounded strange and silly to me. Ultimately, I think there is no better way to describe the genre of "Alphaville" than with "sci-fi-film noir." Although this film included aspects of both the sci-fi and film noir genre, it is easy to see that Godard did not take them seriously. It is evident that this film is a parody of those genres. Godard parodies sci-fi with the lack of special effects. This film had absolutely no special effects and it looked like Godard shot the film inside his house at times. I definitely think that "Alphaville" portrays the worst example of mise-en-scene; but then again, Godard probably purposefully gave this cheap look to his film in order to emphasize the fact that he was poking fun at the genre.

After watching this film it is clear that Godard is playing with the film noir genre as well. The lighting in the film, the storyline, and the main character's costume are all elements of film noir Godard uses. For me, the humor in Godard's use of film noir came at the end when Anna Karina's character says she loves someone for the first time; I don't think I have seen a cheesier ending in all the films I have ever seen.

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