Zombie bourgeois murderers, kids dressed as Indians, twisted corpses of burning cars and human bodies, Emily Bronte and Tom Thumb in the forest, the son of God and Alexandre Dumas pulls a rabbit from a glove compartment, cannibal hippie revolutionaries nonchalantly eat flesh...it’s a Halloween Weekend.
|Worker, bourgeois brat, |
just another exchangeable costume,
Harun Farocki reads this moment as one in which there is an acknowledgment of the “desire for absolute value” which disappears as we realize the river is not “the domain of the gods...but a little watering hole where families go to swim.” While I agree that this rupture is contained and ultimately unsustainable, I also read it as the suggestion of the potential call to a return to year zero that Godard speaks of. A return to year zero is also a terrifying possibility. What would it entail? This is not a moment of redemption, no matter how much I might want it to be, but the primal sound of the drum and call to the river remind us—briefly—of a different state of being, or a place of origin. And yet, the incantation is spoken with the same indifference as Corinne’s recounting of her sexual adventures, the same indifference with which Roland allows Corinne to be assaulted.
The river is not portentous—again, there can be no deep symbols here. As we read in Godard on Godard, the sea in Pierrot Le Fou and Le Mépris is not the sea of the gods, but just “nature, the presence of nature, which is neither romantic nor tragic” (219). Perhaps this is why in Weekend, the river retains some charge, because it simply is, pre-existent, the same and yet always different.
Following this incantation, we come to the final scene in which Corinne eats Roland’s flesh, another moment that could be ritualistic but, as Silverman and Farocki point out, is devoid of meaning or sacrifice (107). This scene communicates the trouble facing any revolutionary movement: by employing the violence of the oppressive regime of consumption, you open yourself to the possibility of becoming another version of the same. It’s far too easy. After all, you are what you eat.