Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Week End (1967)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Week End (1967, Fr.)

In director Jean-Luc Godard's prescient and politicized black comedy and road movie - a philosophical and confusing critique of the bored and selfish bourgeoisie; it was an allegory about the breakdown of society; its title derived from the time-frame of the film involving an upper-class, bickering murderous Parisian couple on a weekend trip; the film was controversial for displaying many taboos, including patricide, rape, immolation, animal cruelty, and cannibalism:

  • the introduction of the two main detestable, bickering characters on an outdoor apartment balcony: affluent, shallow, and self-centered Parisian Corinne Durand (Mireille Darc) and her greedy husband Roland (Jean Yanne); both had contempt for each other - the two venal marrieds both had other lovers and were secretly plotting to murder each other; and both were about to take a weekend car trip to her parents' place in Oinville to visit her dying father and ensure the acquisition of inheritance money from him (they had been slowly poisoning his food for five years)
  • the parking lot accident sequence (viewed from above), when a cheaper blue car and an expensive red car had a minor collision; the incident escalated into a major fist-fight and confrontation between the two drivers
  • the lengthy sequence of a sexually-graphic "orgy" or "menage a trois" monologue (with loud organ music accompaniment often drowning out the most provocative and offensive words); Corinne was obscured by being silhouetted and dressed in her panties and bra and sitting on the edge of a desk, offhandedly and monotonously describing to her fully-dressed husband a recent bizarre orgiastic sexual encounter; he was play-acting a counselor/analyst as she presented her story with a disinterested tone; it was a threesome between a couple (Paul and his wife Monique) and Corinne that was explicitly detailed (as the camera shifted left and right, and zoomed in and out); she hesitantly described the perverse sexual encounter involving food and sex (foreshadowing a more depraved sex act of rape in the film's finale); she described the three ending up in the kitchen, with instances of oral sex, masturbation, intercourse, the cracking of an egg between buttocks, and the act of sitting naked in a cat's bowl of milk; afterwards, she was asked by Roland: "Is this true, or a nightmare?", Corinne responded: "I don't know," and he replied: "I adore you, Corinne. Come and work me up"
  • the additional sequence of a minor car accident, titled "Scène de la Vie Parisienne," when Roland and Corinne's black Facel convertible backed into the parked Dauphine of a young boy's parents in a nearby house, and dented the bumper; dressed as a Native American chief (with a toy bow and arrow), the boy immediately protested the crash (but pocketed a bribe), soon followed by both of his parents, including his mother who was hitting tennis balls at the couple (fended off with a paint-gun), and his father who wielded a shotgun; the boy shouted: "Bastard! Shitface! Communist!"
  • the sequence of their blockaded weekend journey that began on Saturday morning with a bizarre, mammoth traffic jam on a two-lane roadway littered with battered, wrecked burning cars, and mangled, mutilated bodies and bloody casualties (it was famed for its lengthy almost 8-minute long tracking shot, the longest of its kind at the time, moving in a parallel track along the roadway); there were views of people card playing, engaged in a chess match, tossing a ball, book-reading and listening to a radio, sleeping, and urinating; also, there was a view of a traveling menagerie of caged monkeys, lions, and a llama; they passed a bus, a horse and carriage, a sailboat and a gigantic red and yellow Shell Oil tank truck; there were surrealistic and nightmarishly apocalyptic images and examples of social unrest and catastrophe, as the unfazed and uncaring couple non-chalantly passed by on the open left lane and turned onto a rural road
  • the class struggle, presented with the image of the body of handsome, but dead young rich man Paul in the front seat of his Triumph sports car that had crashed (off-screen) into a working-class man's tractor; his surviving companion, a blood-soaked, green-sweatered young bourgeois woman named Juliet (posing before an advertising billboard), was devastated, and she chastised the farmer with insults: "You killed the man I loved! Why didn't you stay in your stable?"; she was reprimanded: "Why drive so fast? This isn't St. Tropez!"; she yelled back to him and a group of lower-class workers standing in front of a wall plastered with posters: "You can't bear us having money while you haven't, can you? You can't bear us screwing on the Riviera, screwing at ski resorts. Can't bear us chucking cash around all year while you can't!"; when Corinne and Roland refused to help them and drove off, Juliet yelled after them: "Jews! Dirty Jews!"; the worker and the bourgeoisie woman and other onlookers united for a portrait-photo (including Roland?), after which the French national anthem was played - the title screen read: "Phony-Graph"
  • the scene of the hijacking of Roland and Corinne’s car by a pretty, red-rain-coated female hitchhiker, and gun-brandishing Joseph Balasamo ("The Exterminating Angel"); jammed into the back seat, he claimed to be the product of sex between God and Alexandre Dumas; the obnoxious hitchhiker exclaimed: "I'm here to inform these Modern Times of the Grammatical Era's end, and the beginning of Flamboyance, especially in cinema" - an apt description of the film itself; Balasamo offered Corinne and Roland whatever they wanted in return for a ride to London, and to prove his miraculous powers, he magically conjured up a white rabbit under the dashboard ("Oh s--t, a miracle!"); to absurd heights, Corinne and Roland offered their materialistic wish list: a big Mercedes sports car, an Yves Saint-Laurent evening dress, a Miami Beach hotel, a headful of natural blonde hair, a squadron of Mirage IV aircraft, and a weekend with James Bond, but the hitchhiker refused their requests ("You creeps, I'll give you nothing") and called them "assholes"; Corinne grabbed the gun, and the two hitchhikers were chased across a field, with the miraculous appearance of a flock of sheep (a reference to the end of Luis Bunuel's film The Exterminating Angel (1962, Mex.)
  • the shocking scene of the fiery crash of the couple's car after instances of reckless driving, when the film jumped its sprockets, and the two were caught in the car engulfed in flames and smoke; Corinne cried out: "My Hermes handbag!"
Surreal or Unusual Occurrences
A Live Rabbit Pulled From Under a Car Dashboard
A Yellow Telephone Booth Conversation Sung in Intoned Verse
A Squirming Earthworm
  • and their unusual encounters with:
    - a young man (Jean-Pierre Leaud) in a yellow phone booth singing his conversation, who defended himself when the couple tried to steal his car
    - the two literary figures of Tom Thumb and English poetess Emily Bronte (looking like Little Bo Peep) reading a book - a whimsical sequence; horrifically and violently, however, they set her dress set on fire and she burned to death on the ground, as Roland spoke: "It's rotten of us, isn't it?...Can't you see they're only imaginary characters?")
  • the image of an earthworm squirming on the ground, as Roland and Corinne mused self-analytically: "We know nothing...We're totally ignorant of ourselves. We're totally ignorant of what this worm is. We're both enigmas. Anyone who denies it is the most ignorant of all"
  • the scene of the outdoor piano-recital/concert at a farm courtyard where the circular camera turned 360° around a farm courtyard, twice one way then the other, as a pianist (Paul Gégauff) played a Mozart sonata on a grand piano (with a conspicuously displayed brand name - Bechstein)
  • the sequence of two sandwich-chewing trash collectors, both immigrant workers - one from the Congo and one an Arab (Laszlo Szabo), who delivered a boring lecture about Marxist philosophy, and denounced oppressive Western imperialism in Africa (as each spoke, the other individual's face was on camera)
  • once arriving in Oinville, the prudish in-joke scene of Corinne discreetly taking a bath below an erotic painting - the breasts of the painting's female were clearly visible, but Corinne's real breasts weren't in plain view
  • the film's brutal outdoor strangulation and murder on the terrace of Corinne's mother who was carrying a flayed rabbit from the butcher shop; (Corinne's father had died and left everything to the wife, and she refused to split her 100% share); the murder scene that paid homage to Hitchcock's famous Arbogast murder scene in Psycho (1960) with knife-wielding stabbing; it was juxtaposed with the sickening and gruesome view of the rabbit being doused in her blood - followed by their criminal plot ("the perfect crime") to hide the cadaver by stashing it in a crashed vehicle (and plane) along the road and setting it on fire
  • the hostage-taking of Roland and Corinne by a group of gun-toting revolutionary, hippie terrorists led by Le Chef du Front de Libération de la Seine et Oise (Jean-Pierre Kalfon), the FLSO, who believed in radical Marxist politics; at the group's outdoor base camp where the hostages were brought, the cook Ernest (Ernest Menzer) (with a blood-stained white gown and a large butcher knife) was told: "You can screw her before eating her, if you like"; the anarchists communicated by radio with film title code names, such as: "Battleship Potemkin calling The Searchers"
  • the sequence of the sexual torture and rape of one of the stripped, captive female hostages, an English tourist, before the cook planned to prepare her for the meal; with her open thighs before him, he ritualistically cracked two eggs onto her crotch (as a garnish) and inserted (off-screen) a large dead fish into her vagina (it was regarded like a pig's mouth with an apple) instead of his phallus; it was a nightmarish re-enactment of the film's earlier kitchen-counter sex orgy
  • Roland's murder (off-camera with a slingshot) when he tried to escape, and his subsequent disembowelment: ("The horror of the bourgeoisie can only be overcome by more horror")
  • the disturbing unsimulated sequences of Ernest's gross slaughter of a pig and a live goose
  • the scene of the murder of the group's girlfriend Valérie (Valérie Lagrange), who was fatally injured in a shootout; with blood streaking down onto her face, she sang a childish song about being isolated as she perished: "How happy I'd be if you knew, You, who I'm leaving tonight. That though it seems everything's through, To others it seems it's all right. A smile, though the heart may be torn, Pretend that it's not past mending, Write the last word, so forlorn. Just a novel with an unhappy ending"
  • the film's last scene after Corinne had joined with the leader following Valerie's death; she feasted and chewed on the meaty stew, created by Chef Ernest from Roland's flesh/bones and the remains of other hapless hostages: (Corinne: "Not bad." Le Chef: "Yes, we mixed the pig with the remains of the English tourists." Corinne: "The ones in the Rolls?" Le Chef: "That's right. There should be left-overs of your husband in there, too." Corinne: "When I'm finished, Ernest, I wouldn't mind a bit more")
  • the film's ending title card: "The End--Of Cinema"


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