Alphaville

Alphaville ★★★★★

Poetry is the espresso shot to a novel’s coffee. Edward Yang, Akira Kurosawa are then great novelists of film, and Godard a great poet. His films flourish in moments of art distilled and intensified.

Alphaville is a wonky, uneven piece of art. There’s little subtlety to its M.O.; it’s screamed at your face. But the screams and the bleep-bleep-bleeps come out beautifully. While the setting is the polar opposite of typical Nouvelle Vague, Alphaville exudes the absolute best of that French New Wave feel, tone, and spirit.

Godard is so cool. Some of his art I don’t jive with, but the man is undeniable cool and sometimes a genius. Take just the fact that he went this far, and pulled it off so completely—what a marvel. Anna Karina is so cool too, and maybe simply the best there ever was. I didn’t think it possible to top Pierrot le Fou, but this Alphaville is my favorite Godard film now, by a long shot. It’s a radiating beam of light, a sharp, bright contrast to Pierrot, Souffle, Vivre sa vie.