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Film / Bande à part

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Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) is a 1964 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard.

It relates the story of the three small-time criminals (a girl, Odile, played by Anna Karina, and two guys, Franz and Arthur) who want to steal a sum of money from the stash in the country house of the girl's aunt.

Tropes à part

  • Aside Glance: As they are leaving, Franz and Arthur say they'll go to a cafe to work out their plan for stealing the money. Odile says "A cafe?", then looks at the camera and says "Why?"
  • Credits Gag: For some reason Michel Legrand's credit for the score reads "With the last (?) score written for the screen by Michel Legrand." Not only was it not his last score, Legrand kept working as a composer for another 55 years, until he died at the age of 86.
  • The Dying Walk: Arthur shoots his uncle several times, but his uncle keeps coming, finally shooting Arthur after Arthur runs out of bullets.
  • Last Breath Bullet: That's how Arthur dies. He shoots his uncle several times. The latter is obviously mortally wounded but stays on his legs for several moments, then shoots Arthur only once and immediately falls down and dies. Arthur is also killed by this sole shot.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Odile has her hair pinned up in an unflattering way. Arthur passes her a note in English class saying she should let it down. She lets her lovely hair loose right after.
  • Love Triangle: Odile is Arthur's girlfriend at the start of the film but Franz starts developing feelings for her over the course of the story. It eventually becomes clear that he cares a lot more about Odile than does Arthur, who's just using her.
  • MacGuffin: The money hidden by Odile's aunt.
  • Narrator: Godard narrates his own story.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Madame Victoria, Odile's aunt who is gagged and tied and then is presumed to be dead by the band but still survives in the end.
  • Sequel Hook: The film ends with Godard in his narration saying that he would make a sequel following Odile and Franz's adventures in South America. No such film was made.
  • Sexy Sweater Girl: Odile is given to tight sweaters. In the scene where they're dancing in the cafe, Godard in his narration says Odile is wondering if the boys are noticing her breasts moving underneath her sweater.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Our trio all go to the same English instruction class. The teacher reads them lengthy French-translation passages from Romeo and Juliet which they have to translate back into English.
    • Arthur wonders why Stolz has a huge pile of money just sitting in an armoire. Franz says that sometimes Hidden in Plain Sight is very effective, and says that he read "an American book" where someone hid an important letter by simply leaving it out on his table. That's "The Purloined Letter" by Edgar Allan Poe.
    • Odile mistakenly refers to Arthur as Alfred in an early scene, a reference to Anna Karina's previous outing for Godard in Une femme est une femme (in which Jean-Paul Belmondo played Alfred).
  • Silence Is Golden: Franz suggests that if they have nothing to say they should have a minute of silence. So they do—and the film's soundtrack goes completely mute, for 36 seconds.
    Franz: That's enough. I'll put a record on.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Arthur orders schnapps, distracts Odile, and then pours his whole glass of schnapps into her Coke. This is to get her to be more forthcoming as they ask her questions about the money.
  • Stocking Filler: When the boys decide that they should have masks for the robbery, they prevail on Odile to peel her stockings off, which of course shows off her long, smooth legs. As they're getting ready shortly after, Arthur and Franz comment on how Odile's thighs looked.
  • Stupid Crooks: They try to get into Stolz's room, only to find the door locked. They get a long ladder to access the window on the second floor, only to find that it is also locked. For whatever reason, they don't break the window. Then they leave the ladder outside. When they come back the next day, they find that the lock to Stolz's room has been changed.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Arthur shows his true character near the end, when he slaps Odile across the face after they find that the key to Stolz's room no longer works.