A French couple stumble from the car crash they have just caused, gnarled metal and carnage all around them, and the wife lets out a horrified screech: ''My Hermès handbag!'' In Jean-Luc Godard's dark, heartless satire of consumer society, wrecked cars are the dominant symbol of bourgeois materialism, and murder, rape, pillage, arson, anarchy, and cannibalism are the rules of the road. Weekend was Godard's final ''mainstream'' film before splintering into his vehement anticapitalist phase, but not even a pair of garbled speeches on geopolitics can distract from his virtuosic filmmaking. In the legendary seven-and-a-half-minute tracking shot, the camera glides alongside an epic traffic jam, cataloging a gallery of people, animals, and machines, all idling indifferently on their way to hell.
EXTRAS Film critic David Sterritt and director Mike Figgis offer insights on the movie's color scheme and ominous music, but it is cinematographer Raoul Coutard whose humility speaks the loudest: ''Truthfully, Godard had it in for all these Sunday drivers.''