Alphaville 1965

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Suddenly the word is Alphaville... and a secret agent is in a breathless race against the Masters of the Future.

Starring:
Jeanne Moreau, Eddie Constantine
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 35 minutes
Starring Jeanne Moreau, Eddie Constantine, Jean Seberg, Akim Tamiroff, Anna Karina, Samuel Fuller, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Laszlo Szabo
Director Jean-Luc Godard
Studio ELEVATION
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages French
Subtitles English

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 25 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
Forty years old it may be , but I was mightily impressed by "Alphaville" ,a monochromatic science-fiction/detective/love story directed by Jean-Luc Godard.The plot is not unlike that of "1984" , with Eddie Constantine playing Lemmy Caution, a spy sent to eliminate the creator of a "Big Brother" computer called "Alpha 60" which controls the lives,thoughts and actions of the Alphaville metropolis. Lemmy assumes the identity of a reporter ,meets up and falls in love with Anna Karina's Natasha Von Braun (the daughter of the dictator of Alphaville who Lemmy is there to assassinate) and as he discovers more about the city and "Alpha 60", he comes into conflict with the authorities. The cinematography ,direction and editing of "Alphaville" is mesmerising; every image is full of movement ,inventive camera angles and surreal imagery all combined together into one mellifluous visual totality. This cinematic quality complements the profundity of the philosophical questions raised in the film ,which are many years ahead of their time and are equally relevant today because the symbolic city of Alphaville bears marked similarities to modern Western society;a corporate civilisation which strives for cultural,social and political homogeneity, holds emotions such as love,tenderness,generosity and sacrifice in contempt, and prefers to build a hierarchical society based on logic,science ,censorship and regimentation. However the main symbol of resistance to Alpha 60 , Lemmy Caution ,is a bit of an anti-hero and this adds further depth to the film. While abhorring the totalitarian technocracy of Alphaville , Lemmy is not averse to displaying some of the negative emotions and actions that Alpha 60 was created to eliminate, such as machismo,murder, impulsiveness and self-centredness.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Jan 2012
Format: DVD
Theres no doubt about the directors status as one of the greats, but this will not be for everybody. Partly a film noir movie, with some elements, particularly in the dialog, of sci-fi, and also allegorical references to concentration camps and 1984. This should make an interesting mix.....

However, whilst this might have been in the new wave of cinema in the 60s, it now seems gimicky, in places pretentious, and ended up annoying me. The strange lighting effects, jumpy music and frankly weird goings on are very stylised, which may leave todays audience stone cold.

Its not without merit though. Some of the camera work and photography is superb and there is no doubt that Goddard has created a unique little film here. Whether its your cup of tea will be very much a personal thing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 1 Aug 2005
Format: DVD
Godard belongs to that first generation of filmmakers who could reference the history of cinema - he grew up in a culture which was largely shaped by cinematic reference. The nature of Godard's cinema is the wonder of the cinema - his films are as much about filmmaking as about character or narrative, are told in the language of cinema.
Godard developed a style of remaining distanced, of observing his characters, often leaving them to improvise while he tried to capture the immediacy of their action and reaction. In "Alphaville" - originally entitled "Tarzan vs. IBM" - Godard combines a futuristic, science fiction tale with American gangster noir and the comic book tradition to explore the dehumanising effects of computers and the corporate identities they create. Made in 1965, its vision is extraordinary. While the 'new' technology demonstrated in the film now appears clunky and quaint, "Alphaville" parallels Orwell's "1984" in creating a dystopic vision of the future.
Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is agent 003, a Dick Tracy character, complete with trenchcoat, felt hat, Zippo, and a .45 calibre automatic. He has come to Alphaville to assassinate its dictator, Professor Von Braun. This is a city ruled by the computer, the Alpha-60, and its scientist creators and neophytes. Politics no longer exists, only the dehumanising logic of the binary system.
Shot in Paris on a very tight budget, Godard makes graphic use of his surroundings, playing with the black and white images and emphasising the ruggedness of Constantine and the striking beauty of Anna Karina.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Eyon on 8 Mar 2011
Format: DVD
Archetypal Godard with strange, symbolic behavior substituting for a plot, and cryptic, philosophical declarations substituting for dialog.

This one starts out like a spy thriller but by the 30 minute mark, it had declared it's dystopian theme. Beneath the confusion there's a message that would make Capt Kirk happy -- that emotions are superior to analytical thought. And love is the best of all.

Spock would have raised his eyebrow at this one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Reader on 26 May 2011
Format: DVD
You really need to be doing a PhD in film studies in order to overlook the simple fact that this is a horribly sexist and intellectually trite film. Its message that love and poetry can defeat 'technocracy' is so ham-fisted, its ironies and attempts at clever reflexivities so dull, that all the viewer is actually left with is a laughable and very ugly bloke 'teaching' empty eyed nymphettes how a real man can give them loving. The detective sent to Alphaville kills a lot of men in order to save his favourite dolly girl, so you would think there was some tension to the film but, in fact, it is not just existentially flat but dull and, let's face it, badly made. I give it two stars as the idea of a distant planet that looks just like 1950s USA is a good one but this is a film that reminds us that the French avant-garde wasn't nearly as clever as it thought it was.
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