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Pierrot Le Fou (The Criterion Collection)
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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.
Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a man who has married for money and is terribly disillusioned with his life. When forced to go to a dinner party he does not want to attend, he throws a temper tantrum and returns home early. When driving Marianne (Anna Karina), the babysitter, back home, they fall in love and decide to run away from Paris. They embark on a series of escapades that begins with running illegal arms for extra cash and runs the gamut: love, death, ennui, boat chases, murder, betrayal, revenge, lost cash, and almost anything else you can think of, and all with a sense of reality that is an interesting contrast to the typical American film. Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless, Alphaville) blends different genres with great success and achieves moments of cinematic poetry in this quasi-epic of modern malaise. Also a cameo by the Hollywood director Samuel Fuller is something to watch for. Be aware that Godard is for people seriously interested in cinematic art. --James McGrath --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
Sunlight/love/color/the face/poetry/emotion/loss of love/slapstick/image/life: PIERROT LE FOU
And to think that I never understood the lyrics of Sonic Youth's "Heather Angel" until several months ago...
Most recent customer reviews
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 on Nov. 13 2013 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
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. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2003 by Doug Anderson
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
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