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Pierrot Le Fou (The Criterion Collection)

 Unrated   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 99.99
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Product Description


Jean-Luc Godard has been called the most self-conscious, the most realistic, and the most modern of filmmakers. To his appreciators this means he owns up to the fact that a movie is a movie, that at any moment in one of his films you know you're watching a film by Jean-Luc Godard. His films are self-aware in a way that films never were before him. Pierrot le Fou achieves a rare spontaneity and naturalness, largely due to the presence of Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina, but also because of Godard's willingness to let go of any pretense to an illusionary or mimetic style, so-called "realism." What story there is has Pierrot (Belmondo) escaping from his boring life along with Marianne Renoir (Karina), who is chased by gangsters. But this is just an excuse to film a kind of essay to lost love, a poem to Karina that is delightful. If "Pierrot goes wild," then so does Godard, with Belmondo standing in for him in his pursuit of and journey with Karina. Godard is not for everyone, admittedly, but for those with the wherewithal to enjoy his films, they are receiving new life on DVD. Whatever coterie taste survives today has been distributed in multiple across the Internet and via the agency of video rental bins, perhaps all the more potent for that reach. Let's hope so. --Jim Gay

Product Description

Dissatisfied in marriage and life, Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) takes to the road with the babysitter, his ex-lover Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), and leaves the bourgeoisie behind. Yet this is no normal road trip: genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard's tenth feature in six years is a stylish mash-up of consumerist satire, politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, "the last romantic couple." With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le fou is one of the high points of the French new wave, and was Godard's last frolic before he moved ever further into radical cinema.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Take on the DVD Edition March 25 2003
By mackjay
If you have only seen PIERROT on VHS/Pan & Scan, the letterboxed version here is automatically welcome. In terms of picture quality, it just may be possible that this is how the film was meant to look: a little rough in spots and with a few idiosyncrasies in the sound. Godard's film is deliberately self-aware as a 'put-together' work and is probably not meant to be conventionally beautiful. Nonetheless, several sequences are striking and aethetically pleasing.
Since the packaging currently available is different from a previous DVD incarnation, could it be possible that the disc represents a newer, improved mastering? This is suggested only because to this viewer, the film looks mostly terrific. The sound is another story: mastered at a low-level, it does not come across as well as might be expected. As for the walkie-talkie scenes, they are surely meant to sound the way they do.
4 stars as a rating, because there are no trailers or extras worth mentioning.
An acceptable, if not ideal, DVD of a one-of-a-kind film experience
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pierrot Le Fou Nov. 25 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
First off, let me say that this film is not for everybody. If you love foreign cinema, then you should love this. It is classic Godard. His use of color and composition is outstanding. This was the first Godard film I saw in color and I was amazed by it. There is a nice cameo by director Sam Fuller. Those who are Godard fans must watch this. You will not be let down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Pierrot Le Fou edition Nov. 13 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Vivid colors, sharp detail, tons of extras. What can you ask more to celebrate this outstanding film by jean-luc godard! Criterion has done it again!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godard's best Jan. 1 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
A wonderful film. I can't recommend it highly enough, unless - like one of the reviewers here - this genre isn't really to your taste. My two favorite scenes; the montage when they're leaving her apartment early in the film, and the party where all but a couple of the people speak in advertising slogans.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars O Criterion Where Are You Feb. 4 2004
This is a five-star movie with a deduction for the DVD release. It may be that this movie will never look or sound that good technicallly, but a restoration would surely help. Even if Fox Lorber gave us only a commentary track, I would give the extra rating star; this is a bare-bones production effort of a movie that deserves the red-carpet treatment.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film - terrible transfer Jan. 21 2003
This is a great movie, probably Godard's best. But I'm afraid that the transfer to DVD by Fox Lorber is very poor. It's got a very soft, almost pixillated look with a lot of strobing on panning shots. At the cinema, Pierrot le Fou is one of the most colourful, vibrant films ever , but this DVD has a sad washed-out, de-saturated, dirty look and the sound level is also very low. All in all, it's a great shame that one of the classics of modern cinema has been treated with such a lack of care... I would recommend that you wait for a decent label to release this film properly. I have to say that it's made me wary of all titles on Fox Lorber now.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Tragic, Mystic : Pierrot le Fou c'est moi Nov. 12 2003
What I love about the two Godard/Belmondo films (Breathless & Pierrot Le Fou) is the marriage of the sacred and profane, the comic and the tragic, the high and the low. Only true masters achieve a world view that encompasses so much of life. Pierrot Le Fou is to the late sixties what Breathless was to the early sixties. If Breathless contains just the rumblings of unrest then Pierrot Le Fou is an open revolt. In Breathless Belmondo played at being Bogart and he and Jean Seberg just played at being alive. Breathless was Godard's homage to gangster films and American spontaneity, compared to Pierrot Le Fou however it was a very tamely structured film. In Pierrot Le Fou all semblance of structure is destroyed; Godard picks up and discards genres as quickly as Belmondo picks up and discards books. Godard and Belmondo make a perfect team; Godard is the overly intellectual auteur and Belmondo the oafish clownish ham but together they seem to comprise one complete individual--one behind the camera and one in front of it. Anna Karina is perfect just being Anna Karina. She doesn't have to do much but be her charming and pretty self--everything seems to come too easy for her and so she is always bored and in need of change. On one level the film traces a love story from its inception to its demise but on another level its about how pervasive consumer culture has become. Consumerism affects every aspect of these characters lives. Belmondo consumes culture-- he reads books at an alarming rate, and he needs a constant supply of new books to keep him happy. And Karina consumes lovers--the first time we see her there is an unidentified male corpse in her room(an old lover that she has grown bored with and disposed of). Eventually she will dispose of Belmondo too. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars forever magic Dec 18 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I tell you one thing- either you'll love godard or you'll hate him. This was the first movie I saw of Godard without knowing anything about French Cinema. And I fell in love with it just after 15 minutes of watching. I am a big Godard fan now.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star film, 1 star DVD - Boo hiss to Fox Lorber
Why Fox Lorber doesn't just turn its catalog over to Criterion and stop desecrating great films is a mystery. I love this film, the 400 Blows and others. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars pitiful joy
The five stars go to the movie, not to the dvd edition.This is a joyful, playful, charming movie by Godard, of course. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2002
2.0 out of 5 stars Potential, but expires upon comparison to historical denial.
Godard's unmatched visual direction takes a spin toward a dangerous curve called despair. Like the the works of faience found in Tijuana, Jean-Luc takes a poised aim at the... Read more
Published on April 29 2001 by Everett Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent visual essay encouraging existential expressions
I first viewed this great work with Jose Fernandez, who was delivering a series of lectures here in Southern California, where he alleged that many film directors use archive... Read more
Published on April 25 2001 by K. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars About the DVD...
My exposure to Godard films were through VHS tapes. I was too young to watch his 60's films in their original formats. The transfer is not too great but good enough. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2000 by Miko
5.0 out of 5 stars What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence
At my local UC PIERROT is shown in the survey of film history class they offer. I was invited to sit in once. Normally the professor shows the film, then lectures. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2000 by Jeffrey R Galipeaux
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Pierrot' is great, but Look what an intellectual I am!
Very annoying, what a show off reviewer from London is, he just can't wait to show what an intellectual he/she thinks he/she is. Read more
Published on July 28 2000
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