On every street in every city, there's a nobody who
dreams of being a somebody.
I first became aware of this basic fact a few decades ago after watching Taxi Driver. This was during my college days. Here are a few examples of what was going on around that time. Ted Kennedy went to South Africa and was shocked at what was happening there. Wars raged in Central America, while the Reagan Administration broke the Boland Amendment forbidding assistance to the evil Nicaraguan Contras. The dumbass satanic panic was in full blossom.
Anyway, to this day I remember one reaction to the Robert De Niro movie which epitomized the shallowness of many Americans. This other student started grumbling and opined that it was the worst movie she'd ever seen. She said no way was she going to stay for the ending. I asked her why. She said it made no sense, that it was unrealistic, that it painted a distorted view of America. It turned out she was a dumbass Republican. Coincidence? I think not.
Fast forward to July 22nd, 2010. A blogger named Donkeytale suggested I watch Chimes at Midnight with Orson Welles. I swear I tried, but after ten minutes, I realised I needed a different cup of tea. Oh boy, did I ever find something right up my alley.
The 1967 movie's title was Week End directed by Jean-Luc Godard not Picard.
Make it so, Number One
You the good readers must see this flick. I'm not going to dissect it. I'll just say it basically took a huge dump on so-called Western culture. It also had a style which one could mildly describe as unsettling to the viewer. That was the point. One was meant to become aware of how low we had fallen, from the French crimes against Algerians to the US ones against the Vietnamese.
Some numbnut a few years back named Francis Fukuyama claimed that we had reached the end of history. His schtick was that capitalism had won out, and liberal democracy was the final form of government.
Hey, people can keep their heads in the sand and ignore illegal wars, increases in unemployment, and environmental degradation at their own peril. Liberal democracy has taken us to the brink of 1984. If you don't think so, just take a quick looksie at the Washington Post's Top Secret America website. My brand of paranoia (socrates®) has hit the mainstream.
Bourgeoisie society has always deserved a metaphorical smack in the face. Luigi Pirandello got that job done with Six Characters in Search of an Author. There was Malcolm X. Howard Zinn delivered an anchor punch with A People's History of the United States. I'm sure we could brainstorm many more examples of folks who effectively spoke truth to power.
If one goes to the IMDB.com website to check out various reactions to Week End, one will see that there are many who responded precisely like that Republican chick did to Taxi Driver. The point that these people don't get is that one is supposed to end up with their stomach tied in knots. They are meant to have their world views rattled and end up disgusted with crass consumerism and the cultural wasteland which is the West. Too many people just don't get it, and that's why there are some like myself who are forced to become leftier than thou.
In 1969, Roger Ebert gave Week End four stars, or in other words, a thumbs up. I believe the last paragraph from his review says it all. (By the way, Week End is the European title, while Weekend is what it's called in Ameika.)
Godard also gives us an allegorical ending in which various animals and members of the cast are killed and eaten and other things. But by now we are totally lost in this new Godard universe. Everything makes sense, but nothing holds together. Are people talking to each other, or to us? What's going on? It's as bad as life.Hopefully this movie isn't pulled off of youtube. I advise everyone to watch it. Here is part one followed with the link to get you to the rest of the movie.
link to part 2