Weekend (1967 film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Le weekend is a 1967 black comedy film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Mireille Darc, Jean Yanne and Jean-Pierre Léaud. Julio Cortázar's story "La Autopista del Sur" ("The Southern Thruway", 1966) influenced the film.


A bourgeois French married couple, Roland (Jean Yanne) and Corinne (Mireille Darc), both have secret lovers and are both planning each other's murder. They set out by car for Corinne's parents' home in the country to secure her inheritance from her dying father, by murdering him, if necessary.

The trip becomes a chaotically picaresque journey through a French countryside populated by bizarre characters and punctuated by violent car accidents. After their own car is destroyed, the characters wander through a series of vignettes involving class struggle and figures from literature and history, creating an overall impression of a humorous, beautiful, but also senseless and frightening world. Godard's trademark intertitles intrude suddenly, cutting off and commenting on the action and the process of film viewing itself. For example, two graphics near the beginning announce that you're watching 'a film adrift in the cosmos' and 'a film found on a scrap heap'.

The film is particularly well known for a single tracking shot that lasts for over 8 minutes. The shot follows a car slowly moving through a traffic jam. After eight minutes, the cause is discovered: a family has been in a car accident and their bodies lie across the road. It is a stark contrast to the beeping horns and frustrated drivers waiting to get by.

Corinne and Roland eventually arrive at her parents' place, only to find that her father has died and her mother is refusing them a share of the spoils. They kill her and set off on the road again, only to fall into the hands of a group of hippie revolutionaries supporting themselves through theft and cannibalism, in whose encampment the film ends.


According to a letter from the Argentine writer Julio Cortázar to his translator Suzanne Jill Levine, the indirect inspiration for the movie was Cortázar's short story "The Southern Thruway." Cortázar explained that while a British producer was considering filming his story, a third party presented the idea to Godard, who was unaware of its source. Because he had had no input on the making of the film, Cortázar vetoed the suggestion to translate the story's title as "Week-End" to take advantage of the tie-in.

Themes and style

Weekend has been compared to Alice in Wonderland, the James Bond series, and the works of Marquis de Sade. Tim Brayton described it as a "film that reads itself, tells the viewer what that reading should be, and at the same time tells the viewer that this reading is inaccurate and should be ignored."

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Weekend (1967 film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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