A descent into desperate depravity, captured in twelve episodes in the life of a young woman. Cannon fodder for drama enthusiasts, but with smug pretensions injected into it thanks, in part, to director Jean-Luc Godard. His aesthetics and reasoning behind making many of the decisions he does are incomparable to anything that would make sense, but bless him, for he tries and succeeds in making moving, motivating features rich with thematic turns and engaging characters. But we are quick to judge those that have proven themselves inconsiderate of the field they are working in, and while the beauty of Godard is found in the shots he crafted and the stories he told, there are the essential emotions and tirades of passion completely lacking. But that is of little issue for Vivre Sa Vie.
Commercialised pangs are instant, found within the opening seconds of Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders. Chirpy piano music and lightning-fast cuts between the three leading characters, following it up with a rather effective, yet broadly welcoming establishing shot, it is not the artistic fervour one would expect from the Breathless director. Having said that, it is a welcome change of pace. Far removed from the love or hate variety presented in Pierrot le Fou, yet Band of Outsiders is not his most accessible work. It does not tap into his unique position as an artist. That is, to some extent, why Band of Outsiders is so good.
Quite the heated figure concerning the discourse we can have surrounding his work, Jean Luc-Godard has proven himself a controversial individual on how he brings a story to life for the big screen. Pierrot le Fou shouldn’t be as hotly contested as it is, but with the quirks, charms, and shortcomings of Godard all on display here, it creates a mixed bag of ideas. Some work and performances are pulled off without a cinch, others toil and flounder on the screen for embarrassingly tedious amounts of time. Such a strange creation cannot make for an ultimately strong opinion, especially when I find myself meagrely dipping myself into the side of optimism.