• Courtesy: Chaumiane/Film Studio/Kobal/Art Resource/Georges Pierre


(Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution)

4K Digital Restoration

The passage of almost half a century has done nothing to dim its stylishness, blunt its humor or extinguish its piercing message.

Richard Williams, The Guardian

Jean-Luc Godard, Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff,

“Contraband poetry . . . and consequently the more precious,” Jean-Luc Godard wrote about Jean Cocteau’s Orphée. In Alphaville, Godard establishes a techno-fascistic city in which poetry—and love and conscience—are contraband, and therefore mortally dangerous. His dream/nightmare world is created with mysterious, dread-filled, and hauntingly beautiful images. Black shadows are pools of ambiguity; glass surfaces reflect fear. But Alphaville, the “capital of pain,” is Paris, underlit. The plot is a mixture of comic strip, film noir, and science fiction, as special agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is sent on an intergalactic mission to dispose of the diabolical scientist Von Braun, whose mechanical brainchild, Alpha 60, tortures the populace with logic. A wonderful moment in this surprisingly moving film finds the poker-faced, hard-as-nails Caution trying to communicate the meaning of the word love to Von Braun’s robotized daughter, Natasha (Anna Karina), who must relearn language as a first step toward individuality.

Judy Bloch
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Raoul Coutard
  • French
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 98 mins
  • Rialto Pictures

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