Forever Now

Jean-Luc Godard's jubilant Band of Outsiders seems as fresh today as in 1964

Her love to live: Anna Karina in Band of Outsiders
Her love to live: Anna Karina in Band of Outsiders

But that scarcely makes them less pleasurable. If anything, Godard's lyrical fondness for the fleeting youth and beauty of his band of outsiders is even more touching because it seems so delicate, so threatened--so pop. The Madison sequence wouldn't be nearly as affecting without the bittersweet intimations of transience that precede it--like his beloved Karina catching a glimpse of a newspaper headline that reads, "Keep Your Youthful Eyes," or composer Michel Legrand quoting his own end-of-summer score from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. After a jubilantly absurd happy ending, Godard finally concludes his movie "like in a pulp novel, at that superb moment when nothing weakens, nothing wears away, nothing wanes." Godard's latest film is called Éloge de l'amour, but after almost four decades, the gorgeous and undimmed Band of Outsiders may be his true elegy for love.

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