It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Year after year, Jean-Luc Godard has been chipping away at the language of cinema. Now, in "Weekend," he has just about got down to the bare bones. This is his best film, and his most inventive. It is almost pure movie. It is sure to be ardently disliked by a great many people, Godard fans among them. But revolutionary films always take some time for audiences to catch up.
"Weekend" is about violence, hatred, the end of ideology and the approaching cataclysm that will destroy civilization. It is also about the problem of how to make a movie about this. Movies about The Bomb are almost never effective; the subject is too large. So Godard abandons any attempt to show us "real" war or destruction. Instead, he shows us attitudes: the casual indifference to suffering that saturates our society.
The film begins with motorists, perhaps because driving a car most quickly inspires the animal in us. We see people off-handedly machine-gunning each other over dented fenders, or using insect spray. Then we see a married couple leaving for a weekend motoring holiday, and their journey will in fact be a tour through the horrors of the consumer civilization.
The opening scenes have been hilarious. But we first begin to understand this is extraordinary Godard when his couple gets onto the highway. There is a traffic jam. It is a very long traffic jam, and the protagonists pull out into the other lane to pass it. This begins perhaps the most famous single shot in Godard's work.