Band Of Outsiders

My favorite scene in the movie would have to be the Madison dance sequence, perhaps like everyone else who has seen this. There was nothing striking about the dance itself but its simplicity and lack of any real connection to the storyline makes for a very memorable scene. True, they just keep dancing and dancing the very same set of steps for about five minutes, but there’s something very raw about the fact that there clearly weren’t any cuts in this sequence, which is basically felt throughout the movie but made even more apparent here. Another scene in this movie that distinctly breaks away from the usually structured style of a typical screenplay is the one where Arthur and Odile have this really long conversation in the bathroom, which if you think about isn’t long at all relative to real-life conversations. It almost felt like I was watching one of those “reality” shows on MTV, where the camera seems to be constantly eavesdropping on private conversations. The notable difference between these two lies in how those TV reality shows actually seem to be telling a story, whereas Bande a Part on the other hand seems to purposefully avoid making any semblance of some plot. In fact, it almost gives the impression of being a mere way to pass time. I only truly appreciated this laid-back kind of mood when the ending comes and a real shooting takes place. Coming quite unexpectedly, that sudden change in tone, from light to heavy, made the gravity of the shooting all the more powerful.

Looking back on the dance sequence, I also realize that the commentary on the characters’ thoughts and feelings seemed to highlight their disconnection from each other despite the fact that they were dancing in sync. But again, like the rest of the piece, this possible statement about the dynamics of the characters does not seem to be digging deeper for any real meaning that possibly comments on some issue. It’s just what it is and nothing more.

On the whole, the movie seems to be playing with very simple tricks that could hardly even be called as such because they seem so effortless. For instance, there’s the scene where they literally have a minute of silence when the character suggests it, as though being in perfect control of his surroundings. It’s also possible that it was merely aiming for the audience to feel as though they’re in on the scene too, including them in that silence. As for the rest of the methods that Godard toys with in this movie, they seem to work just fine- simple yet effective.

Here's the scene where they have "a minute's silence":

And here's the famous dance scene:


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