Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Legacy of Band of Outsiders

Godard planned for his seventh feature film release, "Band of Outsiders," to be a commercial success, but unfortunately, at the time, it was one of the lowest grossing films he made to date.  However, today, we see many influences of this film on popular culture, and can surmise from this that the film has gained popularity and an audience, no matter how niche, through the generations.  New York Times film critic, Eugene Archer said, back in 1964 when the film was first screened at a festival in NYC, that this film is before its time and that one day, he predicted that Godard's work would be at home in film museums.  Godard is the king of quoting other authors, artwork, popular culture references, etc. but now that his work is being quoted, I wonder if he has issues with this, especially because the ways his work is usually quoted/adopted/ripped off is in a way he probably wouldn't agree with.  Contemporary filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino, regularly borrows from Godard, but there are news articles that record Godard's anti-Tarantino sentiments, especially regarding the filmmaker's production company, now closed, "A Band Apart."  Tarantino also gained inspiration from the Madison dance sequence from "Band of Outsiders" to use in his very successful film, "Pulp Fiction".  You can see the dance sequence in "Pulp Fiction" here and Tarantino admits that he was directly inspired by Godard for this.  However, Tarantino does not utilize the dance sequence the way Godard did and this superficial treatment must have been annoying for Godard to see compared to his original one.

Godard would also probably be quite annoyed if he caught wind of this Diesel advertisement released as part of their campaign in 2010 that ripped off of Godard's Madison dance scene.  I don't think it is necessary to say what's wrong with this video since it's quite obvious, if you study Godard and his ideologies that this video is the exact thing he would not support.
To top all of this off, the name, "Band of Outsiders" has such a great ring to it that Hollywood Film Agent turned Designer (now that's just too whore-ishly commercial to digest) Scott Sternberg uses the film's title as the brand of his clothing line.  He says that he just liked the name but the label has nothing to do with the film really or anything related to Godard for that matter.  It's just a trendy, catchy name... sad.

if you'd like to read more, it's all in my term paper.


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