Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Les Carabiniers

Les Carabiniers is completely over-the-top in both form and storyline. Incredibly long, held shots and the repetition of the dialogue are the main methods employed to establish the ridiculous. Godard uses extreme hyperbole in this film to show how baser desires lead to terrible atrocities committed in the name of government, or "The King."

Repetitiveness plays a major role in the film in two separate scenes. The first scene, in which the army officers visit Michel-Ange and Ulysses is extremely memorable. Item after item is promised to the seemingly naive farm-boys. The true genius of the scene is very subtle. It appears that only after the officers plant delusions of grandeur in Ulysses and Michel-Ange, that their viciousness and depravity come about. As the scene begins, the men are sitting around at a table, listing objects of wealth and desire. As Ulysses exits with one of the officers, he begins to list terrible actions off in a long sequence as well. No longer do Ulysses and Michel-Ange seem naive, but ready to undertake the most heinous actions.

The second important scene, containing incredible repetition, is the opening of the suitcase when Ulysses and Michel-Ange return home. The men seem to have wild mood changes regarding the outcome of their experience in the war. An incredible amount of photos drone on and on, most explicitly representing the disappointment of war. There is no reward for the characters, nor the audience, who are forced to watch picture after picture named.

The overall theme of Les Carabiniers almost seems too explicit and exaggerated to come from Godard, but is clear nonetheless. Outrageous plot and the two aforementioned scenes have subtle features that exemplify the corrupting power of war and greed. The two farm-boys are made allegorical in Godard's non-realistic portrayal of human atrocity.

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