Moviedrome Mondays: Alphaville (1965)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s intro to legendary French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 science-fiction mystery Alphaville. My readers can also read Cox’s transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 30, 1989 (read here). Taking into account Raoul Coutard’s black-and-white cinematography and the image of American actor Eddie Constantine as a trenchcoat-clad detective, Alphaville may also be Godard’s way of paying homage to 1940’s film-noir. As usual, Godard manages to say a lot on many things of the film -socio, political or otherwise. Equally impressive is Godard’s reliance on actual locations, as opposed to building futuristic sets. Since modernistic glass and concrete buildings were new at the time (read here), Godard decided to stick with this. Whether it was due to budgetary restraints or not, he managed to make this viewer feel that it was visually convincing dystopian future. If any of you readers are interested in reading my list of my favorite Jean-Luc Godard films, read here.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro of Alphaville

Here is a youtube video link to (what I believe) was the original theatrical trailer for the French market

Here is a youtube link to (what I believe) is a 2014 revival trailer for the American market

9 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Alphaville (1965)

  1. I saw this film when I was 16, at The National Film Theatre in London. I was keen to discover foreign films at the time, and thought this was a strange mix of film noir and futurism. I haven’t seen it since, and think maybe I should watch it again.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen this film, John. I’m a Godard fan. Breathless is one of my favorite movies. I loved Detective too. And, of course, Contempt. This is one of those that I definitely need to watch.

  3. I love Alphaville, for all sorts of reasons; it’s a complex romp of ironic humour and weighty concepts with intensely atmospheric photography and fantastic performances. The use of music is for me perfection too. My favourite Godard, after Breathless.

  4. I think all of Godard’s films can be read as essay films – some in a lot of ways (HIstoire du cinema) and others in some ways (Alphaville is a good example). I loved it’s blend of film noir with futurism. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. Nice to hear that you loved Detective – I did too. Then again, I love every single film that Godard has directed. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  6. “Ironic humor” is most certainly one of the many aspects that can be found in Alphaville. You know, it is interesting, viewers tend to focus on all of the philosophical elements in the film, that at the same time, one forgets that it is also funny as well. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

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