Weekend (Week-end, in French), Jean-Luc Godard’s fragmented, brutal farce mocking the values of the French bourgeoisie unfolds through a series of intentionally disjointed set pieces. Throughout Weekend, Godard uses of intertitles (title cards that appear mid-film), and they enliven the film in a number of ways. More then simple chapter headings, Weekend’s intertitles add structure, and while some toy with its temporality. Many title serve as typographic voice, editorializing through coded, clever cultural references, enhancing the film’s bitter irony.
“A purely political film is difficult to do,” Godard wrote in Cahiers du Cinéma in 1965. “For politics you need insights into the points of view of four or five different people, and at the same time have a broad overall-grasp.” But two years later, Godard tackled politics not once, but twice in one year: La Chinoise, a film about France’s fervent political youth, “the children of Marx and Coca-Cola,” premiered in August 1967, and Weekend began production the same month, and was released in December 1967.
A scrap heap of social morality, one supposes. It not the first time Godard has paralleled sexual infidelity and the emptiness of bourgeois values with social and political immorality. The conversation between Corinne and her lover continues, and Corinne reveals that she discouraged her husband from fixing the brakes on his car, hoping he’ll have a accident. As the sinister plans are revealed, so is the title:
Intertitles also provide a poetic and musical pulse to the film, introducing different systems of communication one cannot help but compare to The Situationist International and The Letterist International, Dada-inspired avant-garde movements of the 1940s and 50s. Author David Sterritt points out that Godard’s films “share the Lettrist mixture of deadpan whimsy and dead-serious outrage, and his characters have a frequent habit of spray-painting their slogans onto the scrubbed façades of polite society, a practice Situationists themselves honed into a fine art during the late 1960s.”
By playing with the animated of the title card, illuminating some letters before others, Godard creates subliminal wordplay reminiscent of commercial signs and pop art. Weekend’s intertitles contain a lot of words within words. A earlier scene in which Corinne describes—explicitly and at great length—a sexual fantasy (or actual encounter, we aren’t sure) to her lover, is interrupted by the title:
The word “analysis” is written on two lines, and Godard rests on “ANAL” before revealing “LYSE.” The “ANAL/YSE” title signifies Freudian theory on two levels—the early stages of sexual development and the concept of psychiatric analysis.
The “FAUX/TO/GRAPH” title contradicts the words of the character Bruno Forestier in Le Petit Soldat: “If the photo is the truth, cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.” As interruptive elements in an already disjointed film, the titles are not just meant to be comic, they intentionally confuse temporal issues. Intertitles also shatter any illusion of realism the audience may hold when watching a film, a constant reminder that the film is theatrical—a constructed work of art.
Formally, Weekend’s intertitles are all either red or blue capital letters (a few are red, white and blue) set against a black background. The red titles are reserved for hours, days of the week, and months—all obsessively titled throughout the film. Notions of time, in Weekend, are indicated precisely at the beginning of the film, but as the characters lose themselves on their endless, carless journey back to Paris, time becomes increasingly abstract. Godard cleverly charts the anarchic disintegration of the plot by switching time from the familiar Gregorian to obscure French Revolutionary calendar, indicating the passage of time with disorienting and unfamiliar months names “Pluviôse,” “Thermidor,” and finally,“Vendémiaire” (the month when France was proclaimed a Republic). 
Despite its apocalyptic vision, Weekend is crammed with almost obsessive cultural references and insider jokes reminiscent of earlier New Wave films. Through intertitles, Godard cites literature, cinema, and popular culture, creating witty semiotic puns :
- Jean Luc Godard, Jean Narboni, Tom Milne, Godard on Godard (Da Capo Press, 1986), 225
- Weekend: A Film by Jean-Luc Godard (Lorrimer Publishing, Ltd, 1972), 18
- France Catholique, August 25, 1967
- David Sterritt, The Films of Jean-Luc Godard: Seeing the Invisible (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 92
- Weekend: A Film by Jean-Luc Godard (Lorrimer Publishing, Ltd, 1972), 41
- Dating system adopted in 1793 during the French Revolution. It sought to replace the Gregorian calendar with a scientific and rational system that avoided Christian associations. The year began with the autumnal equinox and the day on which the National Convention had proclaimed France a republic, 1 Vendémiaire, Year I (Sept. 22, 1792). The other autumn months were named Brumaire and Frimaire; they were followed by the winter months Nivôse, Pluviôse, and Ventôse, the spring months Germinal, Floréal, and Prairial, and the summer months Messidor, Thermidor, and Fructidor. On Jan. 1, 1806, the Gregorian calendar was reestablished by the Napoleonic regime.
- The Gaullist Party at the time: Union for the New Republic (Union pour la Nouvelle République)
- “Scenes de la vie de province” and “Scenes de la vie Parisian” are sections in La Comédie Humaine by Honoré de Balzac.
- October, a film by Sergei Eisenstein, was one of two films commissioned by the Soviet government to honor the tenth anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution
- Richard John Neupert, The End: Narration and Closure in the Cinema (Wayne State University Press, 1995), 162