Monday, November 3, 2008

Les Carabiniers (The Riflemen)

  Godard has always shown an interest in showing political views within his films, in this case the whole film is politically driven.  His Marxists beliefs are extremely apparent in this picture. The basic plot is two extremely poor brothers  are called upon by the King to go to war for their country, or at least thats what they're told by The Riflemen.  They're promised riches, and complete freedom to do what ever they please.  Including rape, killing, and stealing.  Their wives are encouraging of them to go off and bring back riches for them.   
  The men go off to war, and use every opportunity to rape, and kill whoever they please.  Footage of real war scenes give the picture a more realistic value, which sometimes is hard to see with the over-acting and at times surreal times of the film.  
  Godard uses tell-tale New Wave styling throughout, with jump cuts and fast cutting techniques.  The erratic nature of the film seems purposeful in order to give the viewer a feeling of uneasiness.  Using materialism as an initiative in order for them to go off to war, as to say that most war is fought over Things, and comes at a great human loss.
  There's a scene where a beautiful girl recites a ideological poem that expresses Marxists beliefs, before she is executed.  Again showing that even when someone is trying to reason with someone not to be violent, but in war reasoning does not exist.  The brutality of the war is not sugar coated in any way.  
  When they get back home their wives are awaiting them (although the one wife seems to be having a good time with another local man).  They ask where their things they asked for are, and where their riches are.  Ulysses and Michelangelo say that they've brought all their riches in one suitcase. This is the longest scene of the film, they start to pull out one by one postcards and pictures of all the things that they seen over the world.  Interestingly most of what's shown is more things that are apart of the wonders of the world, as opposed to just material things.  Giving you the idea that life is more about amazing things that no one has to own, but rather for all to enjoy.  Unlike in war we fight over more material things, power, and money.
  In the end both the wives,  Michelangelo, and Ulysses want what's owed to them that was promised by the king.  They find The Riflemen again and ask them, they say that they did not win the war, but that the King will pay them.  The Riflemen lead them to show them where there riches are and then shoot and kill them.  Again symbolizing that there all these promises with war, riches, power, but in the end death is one thing thats guaranteed. 


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