Monday, January 19, 2015
Directed by cinematic pioneer Jean-Luc Godard, this is perhaps one of the most surreal, grotesque, and disturbing antiwar movies ever made. Set in a fictional country during an unspecified historical period, two simpleminded peasants, Ulysses and Michelangelo, receive a letter from their king promising them riches and granting them complete freedom to commit any crime if they join the army and fight in an anonymous war. The two leave for the front lines and write postcards to their wives in which they report their murdering civilians, raping the enemies’ women, stealing cars, and burning down schools. As the war progresses their actions become less and less human, yet they wind up, to their surprise, being executed for their crimes. Special thanks to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.