A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet. His very American character is at odds with the city's ruler, an evil scientist named Von Braun, who has outlawed love and self-expression.Written by
Gene Volovich <email@example.com>
Part of the filming was carried out inside the French House of Radio (fr. Maison de Radio France), which at that time only recently solemnly opened. See more »
Just before Lemmy Caution/Ivan Johnson meets Natasha Vonbraun, around 10 minutes into the movie, you can see the crew in the mirror when the camera pans. See more »
Sometimes reality is too complex for oral communication. But legend embodies it in a form which enables it to spread all over the world.
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Before the credits, Godard adds one letter at a time to compose the word "fin"--"i"..."in"..."fin"--as though to suggest "I, in the end." See more »
In the original French version, the voice of the computer Alpha 60 sounds harsh and throaty as if produced by belching. One English-dubbed version gives the computer a more typical computer-like voice. See more »
Its hard to say exactly how much I liked Alphaville. Seeing it was a valuable experience, and at times was quite enjoyable. However, there was definitely a part of me that couldn't wait for it to be over.
Probably the best part of the movie was the general "vibe." I wholeheartedly approve of its all-around aesthetic. Using (at the time) contemporary Paris was, in my opinion, a genius move. It makes the film a lot more plausible- it's like saying, "The future isn't some phoney-baloney Jetsons stuff. It will probably look a lot like today." Plus, in my opinion, special effects are the #1 contributing factor to making a movie seem "dated", something that Alphaville doesn't need to worry about. Either way, JLG succeeds in giving us a bleak, antiseptic vision of the future. Unlike nearly all of the recent dystopic sci-fi, there's nothing whimsical about the future in Alphaville. It is cold and realistic.
However, I found that, at a lot of points, Alphaville tended to be rather slow. Usually, these slower parts occurred when the movie more or less gave itself over to philosophical speculation (such as the Alpha 60's long monologues), and pretty much abandoned the idea of keeping our attention. Don't get me wrong, I realize that the philosophical underpinnings are absolutely necessary to Alphaville- however, I think that JLG should have chosen to "show, and not tell." (Actually, I find this to be the case with a lot of sci-fi)
And I really don't understand the various action sequences in the film. (WHY would they have let him keep his gun, and take it with him when he's interrogated?) I would say that this particular element lends credence to the theory that the whole movie was meant as sort of a spoof.
In the end, I would probably recommend this film to my more open-minded friends, with the one proviso that they watch it early in the day, when they are less likely to fall asleep.
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