- 1 hr 39 min
"Alphaville" is a French science fiction film directed by Jean-Luc Godard and released in 1965. The film is set in a dystopian future where the world is ruled by a powerful computer called Alpha 60, which controls all aspects of society, including people's thoughts and emotions. Eddie Constantine plays Lemmy Caution, a secret agent from "the Outlands" who is sent on a mission to infiltrate Alphaville, the city where Alpha 60 is located. Lemmy's mission is to find and rescue Professor von Braun, a scientist who has rebelled against Alpha 60 and is being held captive in Alphaville.
Once he arrives in Alphaville, Lemmy navigates a strange and surreal world where individuality and emotion are outlawed. He is repeatedly questioned by Alpha 60, who tries to break his spirit and force him to conform to the city's cold, logical ways. Lemmy also meets Natacha, a woman who lives in Alphaville and who begins to question the society in which she lives. Anna Karina delivers a captivating performance as Natacha, capturing both her intelligence and vulnerability.
Throughout the film, Godard uses a mix of sci-fi and film noir conventions to explore themes of totalitarianism and individuality. The film's visual style is striking and inventive, with Godard making use of unusual camera angles and lighting to create a disorienting and otherworldly atmosphere. The film's production design is also impressive, with Alphaville portrayed as a city of towering skyscrapers and cold, metallic surfaces that accentuate its soulless and unfeeling nature.
A recurring motif in "Alphaville" is the use of language. Alpha 60 continually spews forth nonsensical phrases and orders, showing the dangers of a world where language has been reduced to meaningless gibberish. Lemmy, meanwhile, struggles to communicate with the people of Alphaville, who have forgotten how to express themselves emotionally.
Godard's film is not always easy to interpret or understand, but it remains a thought-provoking meditation on the dangers of conformity and the importance of individuality. It is a startling work of imagination that manages to be both playful and profound, simultaneously delighting and challenging its audience.
In addition to Constantine and Karina, the film features a strong supporting cast that includes Akim Tamiroff as the creator of Alpha 60, Jean-Louis Comolli as a rebel leader, and Howard Vernon as Professor von Braun. The film's score, composed by Paul Misraki, is also highly effective, adding to the film's eerie and oppressive atmosphere.
Overall, "Alphaville" is an important and highly influential piece of cinematic history. It is a film that demands multiple viewings and invites endless discussions, a true masterpiece of intellectually challenging science fiction.
Alphaville is a 1965 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.