Made in U.S.A.: Godard’s Missing Link


The L.A. Times, which seems to publish more on Stark and Westlake than all other papers combined, has a piece from Andy Klein today on the re-release of Jean-Luc Godard’s Made in U.S.A. (based on The Jugger).  It’s good reading for those of you interested in the many strange ways that Stark’s books ended up on screen, especially as you probably haven’t seen the movie yet and this is the strangest of all.

Klein can’t bring himself to trash it as harshly as I did, but he’s far from enthusiastic:

…as is often the case – e.g., the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers, Chaplin’s A Woman of Paris – the film’s absence has driven its reputation to a level that the film itself can’t match. In just the preceding two or three years, Godard had made at least four full-on classics – Contempt, Band of Outsiders, Alphaville, and Pierrot le Fou – each of which had an internally cohesive (if odd) plot. With the consecutive Made in U.S.A. and Masculine, Feminine, he began to lose interest in anything resembling conventional storytelling, pointing toward such subsequent “film essays” as Sympathy for the Devil and Wind from the East.

Aside: The novel laying across Anna Karina’s chest in the still is Adieu la vie, adieu l’amour, by Horace McCoy.  It’s from publisher Gallimard and imprint Série Noire, same as the Parker novels.  This company’s French titles often had little to do with their English counterparts.  I’m guessing it’s Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye. Anyone know?

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