Matteo’s review published on Letterboxd:
A compelling journey into Jean Luc Godard's dystopian vision, a sci-fi film like no other if it could be said to belong to that genre, I would say unconventional sci-fi cunningly made and creatively stylized in its always provocative bleak surrealism.
Lemmy Caution played by Eddie Constantine is a secret agent from ''The Outlands'' who comes to Alphaville posing as a journalist to search for a missing agent and to kill the creator of Alphaville as well as his computer that controls everything called Alpha 60.
With a lot of freedom Godard creates this world without getting too complicated, even though the plot leads to many inconclusive things it manages to capture our attention with its dark structure, a sci-fi movie usually uses different sets created to give it that distinct out of this world look, Godard doesn't need it, all we see are real locations filmed in Paris, Here is where the ingenuity of his creativity comes in, he takes great advantage of the shadows and contrasts that leave the lights of the city at night as well as using shots of buildings that reflect and dull the lights of the streets, the darkness creates the necessary atmosphere to give us the clautrophobia of being trapped in this city where as our main character says ''Everything strange is normal in this city''. It would not surprise me if Godard had taken inspiration from Jean Renoir's little known 1932 film La nuit du carrefour, which uses darkness in the same way to create shadowy images.
Once again this film brings back American film noir with many of its aspects in both characters and plot, making clear the tremendous impact that much of film noir left on the young film critics and directors of the new wave of French cinema.
With his typical confusing editing, out of sequence shots and absolute rebelliousness that characterizes Godard, all these influences are just that, influences, he takes them and makes them his own. Alphaville has an out of this world weirdness that is not only because of its look or its atmosphere but also because of the odd way the film is handled, we go from one scene to another some that I would say contribute nothing to the plot but the fascinating thing is that we don't notice these changes, it's like being in a trance seduced by these shadows that surround us.
It's thought provoking, nothing we haven't seen before like for example a computer that manages absolutely everything, a dictatorship where everyone does what they are told, but we only see that with high budget cinema and to achieve it with simplicity and absolute conviction in his art is superb, simple things like distorting the voice of the artificial intelligence of Alpha 60 that is heard at all times giving a sense of threat, seeing the main character being chased, getting to know the rules that govern this place like not being able to cry or the prohibition to mention words like why? and love. It is a fascinating harmony of images that even though they are inconclusive, their ideas are charged with emotion, giving us a visit to the dark life in Alphaville.