Band of Outsiders
Jules and Jim plus crime, a film noir for the proto-slacker generation, and the reason why generations of college film nerds continue to fall in hopeless love with Anna Karina. Jean-Luc Godard adapted prolific American mystery novelist Dolores Hitchens' Fools' Gold for his 1964 Band of Outsiders, and as always he treats his source text less as a narrative blueprint than a thematic melody off which his mercurial mind improvises. Arthur (Claude Brasseur) and Franz (Sami Frey) are two young men/aspiring petty thieves who enlist qua fall in love/lust with kohl-eyed dreamer Odile (Karina), who says her aunt keeps a stash of cash on the outskirts of Paris. And so the plan to rob said aunt ensues, in a manner of speaking, as the trio learns English, talks Shakespeare, play-acts shootouts, and dances a jaunty jig in a café in one of the most immortal scenes of cavalier glee in all of cinema. Godard's typical 1960s narrative disruptions and distancing asides are in full bloom here, but rarely does he use them to such pleasurably pop effect, creating a world where so-called reality bleeds into cinema's pseudo-stylized reality and back again.