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Les Carabiniers, Jean-Luc Godard (1963)

Fantastic end to my Godard mini-festival. Two peasants are duped into fighting for “The King,” and go happily, since they are promised Maseratis, locomotives, rhinoceroses, etc. Of course, in the end, they’re double-crossed and shot by the very comrades that drafted them. Godard keeps up Brecht-like constant alienation from any kind of narrative pleasure or coherence, but the anti-war feeling is clear and strong here, much more so than in Le Petit Soldat. By far the best moment is when the soldiers come home with their “spoils”: a suitcase full of postcards showing the treasures of the world. Or maybe the best moment is the scene where one of the ignorant peasant/soldiers goes to the movies and tries to climb into the bathtub with the woman on the screen. This is Godard’s war movie like Alphaville is his sci-fi movie. I adored this; it’s near the top of my list of JLG favorites.

Les Carabiniers at IMDb

08.25.02

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