Weekend (1967), Jean-Luc Godard

Weekend (1967), Jean-Luc Godard

Weekend is a scathing late-sixties satire that presents a critique of bourgeois consumer culture as directed by the most famous member of the Nouvelle Vague, Jean-Luc Godard. The film follows a couple who travel across the French countryside in the hope of snatching away an inheritance from a dying relative. Their journey is beset by a series of increasingly gruesome events as society starts to crumble under the weight of its own consumer preoccupations. Rich in historical and literary references, Weekend is a compellingly nihilistic and surreally funny depiction of society reverting to savagery. Released less than a year before the student uprisings of May 1968, Godard’s film captures the revolutionary spirit of the time.

The screening will be introduced by Roland-Francois Lack, Senior Lecturer at University College London, where he teaches on nineteenth-century French literature and twentieth-century film. Lack’s interests include, cinema and place, explored through his website Cine-Tourist (http://www.thecinetourist.net), French and Swiss film, and francophone literature. 

Roland-Francois Lack

Senior Lecturer, University College London

Roland-Francois Lack is Senior Lecturer at University College London, where he teaches ninteenth-century French literature and twentieth-century Film. Lack’s interests include, cinema and place, which he explores through his website Cine-Tourist (http://www.thecinetourist.net), French and Swiss film, and francophone literature.

The social realities underlying this dystopian fantasy are class struggle and class difference: the incompatibility of bourgeois desire and proletarian demands. The emblematic shot of this impasse is the FAUX TOGRAPHIE, the false photograph, showing bourgeois, workers and peasants posing as a group. Fantasies of class harmony are, on the evidence of Weekend, as horrific as fantasies of revolution.

Roland-Francois Lack

Senior Lecturer, University College London

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