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Les Carabiniers Reviews

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Henrik S

Super Reviewer

November 11, 2007
A grim farce on war in general. It's brutality, uselessness and irreasonable nature.

When two men are approached by the military to join the causes of war, they are promised great rewards and fame. Hence, they join the armed forces. What follows is a collection of scenes dealing with war in general and the way soldiers mindlessly follow their orders.

The brutality of "The Riflemen" is not of a graphic nature - except for a few stills of war victims - it is rather the grotesque way how the war is presented. The soldiers are portraited as dumb and silly men who "play" war, not caring about casualties and politics at all. The "conflict" in the movie is not specified, making this picture an allegory of war in general.

Throughout the move, letters from actual soldiers are quoted.

The movie is not for the lighthearted and it is certainly not "entertaining" in the classic sense of American cinema. But it is a forceful rant against war and how it is absolutely dull, pretentious and useless, which is - as well all know - nothing but the truth.

"Can we burn women ?"
"Can we go into a restaurant. And not pay?"
"Yes. That's war."

Super Reviewer

December 20, 2006
Gotta love Godard!
February 9, 2012
a war film as only Godard could make it. Some parts were overwrought - the postcard scene comes to mind - but overall, yeah, a very scathing satire on the idea of war as a positive experience full of romance and adventure.
March 29, 2013
a very intelligent, poetic anti-war film
February 11, 2012
Jean Luc-Godard was once asked if heâ(TM)d rather direct a ten million dollar movie or a four-hundred thousand dollar movie. He responded with, if the story works with just four-hundred thousand, than the four-hundred thousand.

In Les Carabiniers, Jean Luc-Godard does just that and makes a movie with no budget. From the very few minutes of the story, it is obvious that the film was shot with very little production money. The extras are scarce, the war scenes are taken from documentary shot footages, the action is described either through voice-overs or inter titles, and some of fight sequences are shot off screen.

I am still trying to understand why a Jean Luc-Godard film is so memorable. Itâ(TM)s not as if filmmaking is an inborn talent. Filmmaking is a process and in essence, making a movie is just someone pointing a camera and shooting. But why and how is Les Carabiniers so interesting?

Take for instance a long and dragged out sequence towards the end when a solider is telling his mother about his adventures on the battle field. He has collected pictures of everything from the places he has been to the animals that he has seen to the women he has been with. For over ten minutes, this solider lays out each photo on the table and says aloud the names of each picture. The shot is so simple.
The cards are framed as the soldier lays down the pictures and from off screen the soldier simply lists them off one by one: Eiffel tower, Statue of Liberty, the leaning tower of Pisa etc, etc. This is one of the most memorable sequences in the film because the scene drags on and on. You would think that by the end there would be some big payoff scene; something that would reward the audience for patiently listening to the man listing off his adventures through pictures. But no, there is nothing at the end. No big explosion, no gun battles, no lovemaking. The scene is just is what it is as it is. Yet, that scene continues to repeat in my mind. Why is that?

Maybe itâ(TM)s the actors that fulfill their roles so perfectly. Or how the story is executed. Or maybe itâ(TM)s the dialogue. Or the mise-en-scene. Or simply because it is a Jean Luc-Godard film. I donâ(TM)t know. Perhaps the good movies are the ones you can't express verbally but know it is something when you watch it. Whatever it is, I am not ready to understand Les Carabiniers at the moment.
comele bien
June 26, 2011
Es el tipo de película que el cerebro necesita. Me encantó. Es una sátira que me da ganas de ponerme a leer compulsivamente hasta el último día de mi vida.

Al igual que con cualquier otra película de Godard es una nota totalmente improvisada, que aunque tiene un rumbo "macro" super claro, cada detalle de la película tiene un elemento super chiva de espontaneidad.
Functionally Godarded
November 24, 2007
I've been sitting in my room, reading review after review for Southland Tales, chomping at the bit as I wait for it to come to Cincinnati. In the meantime, I have had some time over Thanksgiving Break to watch a few moviefilms. The first of which was [b]The Family Man[/b], which we actually watched in my morality class. It's a very well-crafted film. I remember watching it a LONG time ago (must have been 5 or 6 years) and liking it and, 5 or 6 years later, it still held up. I just pretended that I didn't see the "directed by Bret Ratner" slide in the beginning... just kidding. For a Ratner film, [b]Family Man[/b] has quite the heart. It has good character development and Ratner's directing is, dare I say it, effective. Cage and Leoni are good and if you're looking for a good family film with a positive message, check it out. Although the ending is terribly cliche.

The second movie I watched was Ron Howard's turkey (get it, cause it was Thanksgiving break?) [b]The Da Vinci Code[/b]. Convoluted, poorly-directed, and over-done by almost everyone involved, [b]The Da Vinci Code[/b] was a disappointing romp through Paris and a mysterious death. Audrey Tatou was, of course, wonderful and Hanks was fine, but it was really Howard and Brown's script which sent this adaptation to its death bed. It's absolutely nothing compared to the book. There were some interesting scenes and the production design was good, but that can't save the film. Pass. [i]4/10[/i]

The troisieme (that's third for you non-French scholars) film that I watched the last few days was [b]Les Carabiniers[/b] by Godard. Made in 1963, it's a film with all dumb characters that illicit no sympathies from the audience. A dark satire, [b]Les Carabiniers[/b] fails to strike very many chords with the viewers. There are some funny scenes, some sad scenes, and some very interesting directing from Godard, but you can really pass on this one and still call yourself a Godard fan... But [b]Band of Outsiders[/b] came in the mail and I am [i]extremely[/i] excited about that one.
April 16, 2005
[b]Les Carabiniers[/b]

The weakest of Godard's work that I have seen thus far. I realize it's supposed to be somewhat unwatchable and not entertaining, but it's almost too much to that point. There is still genious to be recognized, the theme is driven home well and a strong anti-war point is made. The performances, though strange and off-kilter, are perfect. The film is a bit exaggerated, which helps add to Godard's style in the movie. Not bad, but I would consider it subpar Godard.


[b]Lady Jane[/b]

A bit long and overdrawn, but Carter and (surprisingly) Elwes's performances are solid and believable and develop a nice romantic story. Historically, it's very interesting and builds a nice foundation for the love story. Some great parts, but a lot of dead points, which is the film's biggest detractor.



Without a doubt, the best film of 2005 that I've seen so far. It's absolutely lovely in no matter what way you look at it and is a treat at the movies. Boyle is amazing, nailing every detail. It's a feast for the senses, overflowing with beautiful images and near perfection in cinematography, the screenplay perfect with wonderful focus on characters, and the performances all fitting and solid. It's a magical tale with an inventive premise that goes a long way. It'll make you laugh, sit in suspense, get goosebumps, maybe cry. All-around this is one of the best films I've seen in a while.

February 19, 2005
Godard shows us what little is needed to make beleive a voyage or a war around the world.
message of do's and don't of war.
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