TARZAN VS IBM
(Alphaville, Un Etrange Aventure de Lemmy Caution)
Jean-Luc Godard, like most of the French intellectual fringe of the 1960s, has a compulsive fascination with popular culture. Alphaville is one of Jean-Luc Godards most eccentric indulgences, a vague discourse through film noir convention Lemmy Caution was originally a hard-boiled detective hero that Eddie Constantine played in seven French B-movies beginning with Poison Ivy (1953) and science-fiction cliches. Eddie Constantine with leathery unsmiling mien, hunched in raincoat, becomes for Godard a cartoon caricature, played for slapstick. Godard throws in random scenes of casual violence directed in still frames or without sound. The film is littered with nonsensical comic-book and movie references Did they kill Dick Tracy? asks Caution at one point, Yes, and Flash Gordon is the answer; there are two scientists called Heckle and Jekyll, Von Braun renames himself Nosferatu and Constantine is attracted to Anna Karina because her smile and little pointed teeth reminded me of the old vampire movies that seem to serve some obscure point that escapes this author. As does the intercutting of footage printed in negative during the climactic chase. The anti-machine tirades seem to go on and on and on and are scarcely original territory Godard steals the idea of the Newspeak Bible direct from George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). However, there are times that the gags Godard spices the film with have a certain droll amusement like the machine that asks Eddie Constantine to insert a coin then returns him a card that simply states Merci.
The films great joke on science-fiction is that the so-called planet Alphaville is just contemporary  Paris. The intersidereal space that Eddie Constantine is said to be travelling through in his Ford Galaxie spaceship in the opening moments looks suspiciously like a car driving down a motorway. Elsewhere, Godard litters the film with amusing gags like having fluorescent lights flicker on and then the omnipresent computer voice announces that it is dawn. Its a rather droll and quite funny joke.
Jean-Luc Godard has ventured into genre territory upon a number of other occasions. Check out RoGoPaG (1962), a continental anthology film to which Godard contributed a surreal segment portraying Paris after the nuclear holocaust; Weekend (1967), a surreal vision of social collapse; the Anticipation segment of The Oldest Profession in the World (1967) about an alien visitor meeting a prostitute of the future; Hail Mary (1984), Godards controversial modern version of the Immaculate Conception; and Oh, Woe is Me (1993) in which a god may have appeared to have sex with a woman.
Fan-made trailer here gives a somewhat better idea of the film:-