Let me insist from the outset that Alphaville is a film about flickering lights, circular staircases, labyrinthine hallways, and Zippo lighters. That it's also a film about alienation, the dehumanization of man and all that other stuff serious movies are required to be about is undeniable; but in Godard's world this second set of themes carries no greater weight than the first, and neither can be said to constitute the "meaning" of the film….
It's necessary to say all this because Alphaville is so clearly the ultimate Message Movie that one may fail to see that it is, equally, the ultimate Meaningless Movie. Godard creates his future society with its rigid logic out of a series of...
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