Band of Outsiders

Two aspiring Parisian thugs, Franz and Arthur (Sami Frey, Claude Brasseur), are drawn to violence as bit players in a film noir: they adore the cool indifference, the macho invulnerability. All that is to change when Odile (Anna Karina) enlists them to burglarize the villa where she works, and reality arrives like a police siren. None of Godard's early films captures the “trembling” of youth and love as marvelously as Band of Outsiders, in which a very good girl (Odile even uses hand signals on her bike) goes just bad enough to dance the Madison in a cafe and turn the dreary Paris suburbs into something out of Les vampires. For Franz and Arthur (named after Kafka and Rimbaud), things are a little more perilous, and in telling their story, the film's voiceover narration turns a série noir novel into existential poetry.

Band of Outsiders is repeated on Saturday, September 6.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.