The Morning GIF: Madison dance

Here's a classic outtake from the Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 film, Bande à part. 


Lorraine Murphy


Published Mar 26, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 7:32 pm CDT

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

This is perhaps one of the seminal moments in cinema: the Madison dance from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 film, Bande à part—a classic of La Nouvelle Vague.

Odile, Arthur, and Franz are generic feckless youths who decide, almost from boredom, to stage a robbery at the villa where Odile is staying. Franz and Arthur naturally vie for the hand of Odile, who is in no way discouraging of their pursuit. Of course, it all goes wrong.

Before it goes wrong, though, we have one of the greatest scenes of civilized sexual tension, joy, and rivalry in cinema. It was reincarnated in the first video for the French band La Nouvelle Vague, which took its name from the film genre, which in turn took its name from a random storefront Odile and Arthur pass in the film.

Because it is French New Wave, it all seems—and may have been—natural, but what could be more natural than that sexy, pompadoured Franz self-consciously accentuating his movements, all the more when he realizes they’re half a beat behind the music? Or that mousy, Argyle-clad Arthur could come into his sexalicious own on the dance floor (if only he would look up from his feet)? And that Odile would dance blandly, pleasingly, thinking of nothing so much as what impression she was making on each of the boys?

If you truly insist, there are dance lessons on YouTube.

Given subsequent events in the film, we should give them this moment in peace: a moment attested to by 1045 notes on Tumblr and called the best depiction of adolescent bliss in cinema.

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*First Published: Mar 26, 2012, 10:26 am CDT