- The American Mag - https://theamericanmag.com -


Jean-Luc Godard has intuitive empathy for chaos. Here, a country drive — a banal premise — goes awry. Traffic jams and apocalyptic accidents expose dubious intentions, sexual and financial. Corinne and Roland (Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne) are outbound from the city but can’t escape it. Free will, such as it is, is undermined by traffic, and traffic is a cover for encroaching madness. Early on, a one-take highway bottleneck is a Noah’s Ark of carnage. The couple is aloof to gore and rape. Political speeches (homage to anti-colonialism) sweep in later, adding hysterical volume to the fix. There’s no summing up the parts. Godard is making a prose poem about the center failing to hold. His traffic jam metaphor, many times copied, is agelessly alarming.