Band of Outsiders

After the first eight minutes of Band of Outsiders , the narrator (Godard) dryly offers a recap: “A pile of money. An English class. A house by the river. A romantic girl.” Like everything else in the film, this summation is an allusion to murder. An earnest tribute to crime cinema told via the idiosyncrasies of three young Parisians, Band of Outsiders sketches a naïve love triangle’s inexorable march to destruction. Arguably featuring Godard’s most iconic set pieces—the foot-race through the Louvre, the impromptu dance scene in a cafe that Tarantino and many others would homage — the film weaves together childlike tangents, marrying an obsession with American gangster movies and playful experimentation with language and meaning. Effusive and impulsive as Godard’s directorial hand, the film primarily orbits around its emotional and moral center, the legendary Anna Karina — heartfelt even as she coyly glances at the lens and reminds us that she’s just an actress playing a character.

Dir Jean-Luc Godard, 1964, DCP (Restoration courtesy of Rialto Pictures), 97 min.

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