Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Science fiction takes on a different role in Alphaville than in other conventions of the genre. The visual relation to science fiction in this film is almost solely depicted by very odd scenes of flashing lights, or other ambiguous images. These images are blatant, yet hard to decipher.  The general idea is to set up a negative image for the computer that essentially controls society. It may also be a tool used by Godard to purposefully shock or confuse the audience leading into the following scenes.

The setting of this film appears to be a regular modern society. There are vague references to fantastic elements, but these are not represented visually. The locations themselves are not that reminiscent to science fiction, modern or historical. Although this film was low budget and quickly made, it lacks science fiction imagery that one would associate in even older films in the genre. Instead, the most fictional aspect of this movie are the characters, both in their dialogue and actions.

The biggest fictional element in this film is Lemmy Caution. Compared to the society he is caught in, Lemmy is a singularity. Most obviously, Eddie Constantine is an American amidst French actors. Even in the context of the real-world, the character of Lemmy is just different than the average human being. For example, he kills without question or remorse. This is probably best shown in the scene in the telecommunication building. The audience is not sure how Lemmy is aware someone is spying on him. Despite this, Lemmy quickly dispatches the man occupying the booth next to him and runs out of the building. This is not typical or generally accepted behavior in any setting. The ending scenes of the movie where Lemmy shoots it out with the police also seem to bestow some supernatural luck into Lemmy and again separating him from the real of normal. 

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