Made in U.S.A. Reviews
Watching a Godard film is like attending a casting call, for anything from "America's got talent" to "American Idol" to any of the other casting calls. No one at a casting call ever gets a part. The "American Idol" final contestants and all of the ones who didn't make it but still showed up on the TV show were sent by an agent without any interview, judgement by judges, any of that. So why does the entertainment business go to the trouble of arranging these fiascoes? Well, it keeps people like you off their backs and when you get home you can watch the boob tube to see what could not have been. So what did you learn today? 1) find some way to recycle your self produced home movie because it will never go beyond 100 views on Youtube 2) Even if you strike it rich you will never be able to get your movie on TV or in the theaters unless you got rich in the entertainment business.
Yeah, like if that mattered...
Godard's dedication to Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller, the filmmakers who "taught him the importance of picture and sound", is a mixed, stylish and disappointing noir-comedy whose visual style resembles that of a rainbow cake, and leaves you like the mere thought of a rainbow cake: hungry.
Made in U.S.A. wants to be too many things at once. That is its main fault. What does it try to be?
- A commentary on Leftist politics.
- A criticism of Fascism.
- A tribute to American crime dramas.
- A "Walt Disney film starring Humphrey Bogart".
- A slice of "magic realism with blood".
- A film about the fascist evils of advertising.
- Style over substance...
- ...and then substance over style.
- A vehicle for transforming Anna Karina into an iconic image in full Eastmancolor.
- An excuse to nod at several Godard's artistic and political influences, such as Don Siegel, Paul Widmark, David Goodis and Kenji Mizoguchi.
- An excuse to utilize references to American pulp culture, from the humor to the comic-book style that interrupts this rare breed.
Godard is undeniably unique; he was just being too much himself. Mmm... How do I say this? It tends to be boring. The substance therein is much more interesting than the way the film delivers its comments. Anna Karina is definitely an iconic delight to look at, 150 times more iconic than Uma Thurman under Tarantino's lens, which is one of the factors, along with the underrated actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, whick keep this bizarre product running with fuel.
Maybe the title is what remains the most interesting aspect, though. A superficial look at it might make us think that the overflow of Western culture, art and politics make of this a questionably positive tribute to the U.S.; however, it is really a slap to patriotism and to American literature and ideals, which probably placed America as the author of war promotion. Bang! Well, that hurts.
Nothing hurts more than the truth, though, especially if this film takes place in the "near future of 1966" and was released in Cold War times.