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.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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!Published 20 months ago by Mathieu N.
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by C. Rubin
This is a great movie, probably Godard's best. But I'm afraid that the transfer to DVD by Fox Lorber is very poor. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2003 by Karen M Martinez
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. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2002 by Mohit Garg
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 morePublished on Nov. 10 2002
The five stars go to the movie, not to the dvd edition.This is a joyful, playful, charming movie by Godard, of course. Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2002
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 morePublished on April 29 2001 by Everett Green
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 morePublished on April 25 2001 by K. Brown
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 morePublished on Nov. 4 2000 by Jeffrey R Galipeaux