Monday, November 24, 2008

Los Carabiniers

Los Carabiniers is a film by Jean-Luc Goddard. It was Goddard's fifth favorite film. It came out in 1963.

This was an interesting film, yet somewhat disturbing. The characters are almost cartoonish. One funny fact is that when the soldiers come to convince the boys to fight in the army, they say that they should fight in order to serve the King, however, France did not have a king. This film could easily be seen as a mockery of war, the boys become such bad people while fighting, doing amoral things and treating people very poorly. It could also be seen as an anti-war film.

The film is told mainly through letters (postcards) send home from a brother to his sister. There is a lot of use of text, handwritten rather than printed. There are a lot of jump cuts in this film. There is a lot of jumping ahead through cut shots, seemingly jumping several minutes ahead from where we last were.

Post cards play an important role in this film. While they are the main means of communication between characters, they are also what the brother bring home as "treasures". You watch and think that all they have brought home is pictures of things that they have seen, but in reality they are deeds to whatever is pictured on the front. Deeds to thing that they have won or stolen or gained during the war. This enforces the idea that ownership goes along with spectator ship.

Again Goddard plays with sound, loud sound effects of gun shots, fights and then there will be a spot of complete silence, at a time when you least expect it. Goddard also scorns the traditional ending, he wants to prove with this film that things do not always end up tied up and neat.

Overall, I thought this film was very interesting. I enjoyed the surprise of realizing that the postcards were in fact deeds and that the four of them had become rich, if only for a moment.

No comments: