PIERROT LE FOU

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
US release date: December 18, 2015

Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou (1965), starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina, will be shown in a new restoration created for the film’s 50th anniversary at Film Forum from Friday, December 18 through Thursday, December 24.

Synopsis: Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo), unhappily married and recently fired from his job, abandons his family and runs off to the Riviera with the enigmatic Marianne (Anna Karina). Ferdinand, whom Marianne calls “Pierrot,” tries to find artistic fulfillment between bouts of criminal adventure, but keeps getting entangled in Marianne’s violent life.

“It’s gotta look real. This isn’t a movie.” Canned from his TV job, Jean-Paul Belmondo, fed up with wife and Paris (who wouldn’t be, after cocktail party conversation consisting solely of ad copy?), runs off with babysitter Anna Karina – had they known each other before? – but the next morning, what’s that dead body doing there? A Bonnie and Clyde-ish crime spree/escape to the south of France follows – never more ravishing than in this restoration of Raoul Coutard’s sun-splashed color and Scope photography – done in the style of Pop Art, comic books, and inspired improvisation (Belmondo’s hilarious imitation of crusty acting legend Michel Simon), with a slow-motion carjacking, dancers somersaulting on a beach while plotters clinch a double-cross, and climaxed by unbilled Belgian-French standup great Raymond Devos’ tale of a haunting romantic melody that he just can’t get out of his head.


PIERROT LE FOU
110 min | Drama | Color | 1965
Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Screenplay: Jean-Luc Godard
Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina
Cinematography: Raoul Coutard  | Music: Antoine Duhamel

US Distributor: Rialto Pictures

Opens in New York on December 18th at Film Forum.

REVIEWS

"Inventively drapes genre pastiche, literary references, flash inserts and cheeky agitprop over a robust Bonnie and Clyde-like framework to deliver a film which, in spirit, feels like both the sum total of his past work and an exhilarating sign of things to come. It has a wild-eyed, everything-in-the-pot cross-processing of artistic, cinematic, political and personal concerns, where the story stutters, splinters and infuriates its way to an explosive finale." — David Jenkins, Time Out (London)

"A symphony in the key of red… oddly meticulous in its deconstruction of classical filmmaking, the crime genre, even musicals. One extraordinary shot, as Belmondo and Karina cross a field, followed by a thick plume of smoke from the burning wreckage of their car, would be almost unthinkable today without CGI. Prefiguring the entire career of J.G. Ballard, it’s a crazy landmark a magnificent, witty and brutal adventure into cinema’s id." — Tim Robey, The Telegraph

"A VITAL PART OF FILM HISTORY! As in Breathless, Godard favors wryly detached long shots of frantic action sequences, making Belmondo and Karina look like kids playing cops 'n' robbers. And there is an amusing final joke, showing Belmondo's impotent second thoughts about suicide. Engaging and beguiling - perhaps in spite of itself." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"The dazzling mise-en-scène alternates Lichtenstein with Cézanne, pop art with impressionism, the shadow of Amerika falling across the Provençal sun." — Amy Taubin, Village Voice

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.
1/3
recomended for you
event

"Beyond the Ingénue": new series at FIAF

September 13 - October 25, 2016
FIAF Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
event

New Series at FIAF: "Poetic and Political: The Cinema of Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche"

November 1 - December 13, 2016
FIAF Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
event

"Filming at the Borders: Migrating to Europe Today" film series at Columbia Maison Française

October 13 - 28, 2016
Columbia Maison Française (East Gallery, Buell Hall)
515 W 116 St
New York, NY