Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Since the creation of social media, it has been manipulated to assert influence over us with the ultimate goal of control. In league with governments, these social media giants use computers to distort and reshape information and disinformation into a baked version of truth.

The warnings of this have been out there for years. In Spring 2012, Issue 2 of The Cine-Files, Ryan Babula wrote an article called "THE POLITICS OF PRE-POLITICAL GODARD: ALPHAVILLE, MADE IN USA." In that article, he wrote, "Alphaville speaks specifically to the idea of a government suppressing the identities of its people through technology and modernity."

Sound familiar? It does to me as well. Let's explore deeper into...


Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965)

Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard

Written by: Jean-Luc Godard, Paul Éluard (poem "Capitale de la douleur")

Music by: Paul Misraki

Stars: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff

Watch on: Youtube

Review Alpha

This is NOT the Lone Star Veteran!

Let me prepare you up front: like Le Voyage Dans la Lune, Alphaville is a French science fiction movie. Unlike the former, Alphaville actually is in French. I tell you this simply to say I am not one of those kind of "film people" who watches foreign film in a snobbish way with a cigarette stuffed in a cigarette holder full of European pretension. In my quest for some of the best science fiction movies with strong political themes, Alphaville came up as one of the best. Therefore, I decided to put this to the test.

Alphaville is a science fiction movie that is truly grounded in reality. Another interesting thing about the movie is the special effects, as in the lack of them. Eddie Constantine stars as the private eye Lemmy Caution, reprising the role from other "B" movies (think the SciFi precursor of the great Bruce Campbell.)

Caution is called to the outlands, to Alphaville, a city run by a computer called Alpha 60. Alphaville is supposed to be set in the future, but due to the lack of effects what we see instead is Paris in the mid-1960. For the setting of the movie, however, it works. It does feel like Godard has taken us to another world.

Alpha 60 is quite the dictator. It has banned both free speech and expression of emotion. Straight from George Orwell’s 1984, dictionaries are regularly revised to remove words that might invoke emotion. there are also neon lights that flash scientific formulas at everyone. Images of the E = mc2 and hf = mc2 equations are displayed throughout the film as symbols of the regime of logical science that rules Alphaville. Caution passes through a place called the Grand Omega Minus, where brainwashed people are sent out to start strikes, revolutions, and student revolts. Does this sound familiar to what we experience today with social media? You bet it does!

While looking for for Professor von Braun, the creator of Alpha 60, Caution finds von Braun's daughter Natacha. She is quite the robotic creature, being that she is a resident of Alphaville. In a move that is followed later by Dekkard in Blade Runner, Caution falls for Natacha. Because of his love for her, this introduces emotion and unpredictability into Alphaville. Natacha discovers that she was actually born outside of the city.

Caution finds Professor von Braun, originally known as Leonard Nosferatu. The professor himself talks infrequently, referring only vaguely to his hatred for journalists, who Caution is using as his cover. The professor offer Caution the opportunity to become a citizen of Alphaville. he tries to sweeten the deal with an offer to rule a galaxy. In turn, Caution offers In turn, the Professor to return to "the outlands", which he refuses. In turn, Caution kills him.

During the movie, Alpha 60 converses with Lemmy Caution several times. Alpha 60's voice is ever-present in the city, serving as narrator for the movie. In their verbal sparring session, Caution eventually knocks it for a loop by telling it a riddle that Alpha 60 can not comprehend: poetry!

At the end, Natacha realizes that it is her understanding of herself as an individual with desires. She then destroys Alpha 60. The film ends with her line "Je vous aime" which means "I love you."


I admit watching a film in a foreign language can be a bit of a challenge but does that make it a bad movie? Not at all! Alphaville is a thinker's science fiction movie with a beautiful score. It does, however, fall outside what is the norm of expectations of what one will see in a SciFi movie so that may be a bit off-putting for some fans of science fiction.

Alphaville's greatest gift though is its message. It shows the danger of a society that is not able to express freedom with individual free-will. It is a dystopian view of what life is like with fanatical communism and fascism. The State's voice is the only voice that matters and all citizens must echo the drone.

In our modern world, there are entities that seek to suppress the rights of the individual. here in the United States, they use clever phrases such as "public safety", "diversity", "inclusion", "fact check" and others in order to guilt and shame Americans into compliance. Those words are really about gaining control, and if that doesn't work, they are starting to turn to State sponsored violence, or violence perpetuated by citizens where the State purposely looks the other direction.

Alpha 60 is represented in the forces that seek to subdue us. Look at what is happening in Australia today, where the State is forcing people to download an app and report their whereabout within 15 minutes. Listen at the rhetoric from "Branch Covidians", screaming in the faces of their fellow citizens, calling them selfish and even murderers. Watch the behavior of rouge groups like Antifa, attacking people for expressing their views. Read the information, or the grossly excluded information, on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, where they selectively throttle, suspend, and even ban voices from one side of the spectrum but will allow murdering entities like the Iranian Ayatollahs and the Taliban to use their platforms with impunity. The Alpha 60 mentality is here and if we are not careful, our own Hellish version of Alphaville is around the corner.

Warp 7 on the SciFi Drive!


Next Review: Contact (1997)

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