French New Wave cinema is known for many things, but great car movies are certainly not one of them. But Jean-Luc Godard, who… died Tuesday at the ripe old age of 91, would have accidentally made just such a movie. It’s called a black comedy Weekend, it came out in 1967, and besides being a great movie overall, it has a great collection of cars on screen.
Weekend follows a middle-class couple who embark on a journey to retrieve an inheritance from a father who is not yet dead. They venture through a post-apocalyptic landscape, witness many car accidents before crashing their own Facel-Vega convertible and be forced to continue the journey in a different way. The movie is way weirder than I make it sound, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers, you know?
Contemporary critics described: Weekend like Godard’s vision of hell and, frankly, if I can drive around the French countryside in a Facel-Vega or a bubble window Barracuda or even an Alfa Giulia, sign me up. It sounds much better than pitchforks and brimstone.
From the time of publication, Weekend streaming on HBO Max along with another of Godard’s really great movies, Breathless, and a few others. My favorite Godard movie, and the subject of one of the best Silkworm songs, “Contempt”, can be rented from YouTube or Amazon Prime.
So tonight pour me a glass of red for one of the best ever, Jean-Luc Godard, and his coincidentally great car movie, Weekend.