Alphaville

Alphaville ★★

It would take way more effort then I want to give to properly explain why “Alphaville” is bad, but I will admit trying to keep my thoughts short is tough because there’s so much that I cringed at. In one sentence, it’s a missed opportunity. Exploring interesting issues like a computer-controlled society with repressed emotions are given away to a boring script, but most egregiously, a mere token effort to establish a futuristic science fiction setting.

Words like “lightyear” and “galaxy” are thrown around but used in improper places. Characters speak into egg timers and we’re supposed to believe they are phone devices. A supercomputer is represented by a group of studio microphones. It’s a planet in another galaxy but the protagonist drives to and from it in a contemporary 60s car, whilst everyone wears contemporary 60s clothing and uses standard automatic pistols.

Clearly, Godard had a low budget to work with, but is that really what his solution was? It’s as if “Blade Runner” was made by kids in their backyard. Is this supposed to be like a school play where I have to imagine this futuristic world instead of actually seeing it? Did Godard forget that film is a visual medium? It sure feels like a student film, the exposition is awful, a lazy substitute for actual world building. Two stars.

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