Band of Outsiders
"Band of Outsiders", now available via Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection, may just be the Jean-Luc Godard movie for people who don’t like Jean-Luc Godard movies. (Though even that’s likely a misnomer - many of his acolytes consider it among his finest works.)
I’ve had the Criterion DVD of this classic on my shelf for many years, but I’m more than happy to upgrade it - the print is inexhaustibly fresh; the detail fine down to the pores on Mrs. Karina’s face; the texture filmic and rich. And the extras, as with the aforementioned previous edition, are, if not inexhaustible, then certainly worth setting an afternoon aside for.
A visual glossary of the films many cultural references - to films, to plays, to novels, to songs, to social movements, to anything that may have popped inside of Godard’s head - is included, and is sure to be appreciated by many. A number of worthwhile interviews are included - lively contemporary takes with legendary cinematography Raoul Cotard, and with Karina; as well as interview footage of Godard sourced from a prior documentary. Finally, you get an interesting curio from fellow New Wave auteur Agnes Varda; a silent short film featuring Godard and much of the rest of the Band cast. But the real feature is what’s worth a purchase.
This small, spry story; with Anna Karina and the two men who flirt and bully her into their small-time crime-scheme gleefully flinging themselves along the Parisian sets; leaves behind many of Godard’s usual political concerns. In their place is aesthetic playfulness; the kind the French New Wave became known for. With "Band", Godard dances.
"Band of Outsiders"