Pierrot le fou (1965) | Jean-Luc Godard’s anarchic on-the-road crime thriller romance still fascinates

Pierrot le fou (1965)Based on Lionel White’s novel Obsession, 1965’s Pierrot le fou is a mad, bad, dangerous-to-know curiosity from director Jean-Luc Godard.

Tired of his bourgeois wife and materialistic lifestyle, restless TV executive Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) escapes to the French Riveria with his former girlfriend-Marianne (Anna Karina), who is being hunted by some gun-running gangsters.

But their carefree new life is quickly interrupted by their pursuers, and a man called Fred (Dirk Sanders), who may or may not be Marianne’s brother…

Belmondo scored a BAFTA nod for his performance in Godard’s anarchic tale about a couple unable to escape fate no matter how far they flee. 
Made off the cuff, but with meticulous attention, this free-wheeling road movie certainly displays the director’s love for American pulp fiction and pop culture, while also delivering an allegorical view of the Vietnam war.

Pierrot le fou (1965)

Godard regular Raoul Coutard provides the beautifully mounted visuals, that evoke pop art and comics, while a cameo from American cult director Samuel Fuller serves to reminds us that what we are experiencing is not a film as such but ‘an attempt at cinema’. His theory that ‘Film is like a battleground. Love. Hate. Action. Violence. Death. In one word… emotion!’ perfectly sums up Godard’s fascinating, and somewhat frustrating, revolutionary post-modern experiment.

Godard The Essential Collection

Pierrot le fou (Cert 15, 113 mins) is available on StudioCanal’s Jean-Luc Godard The Essential Blu-ray Collection five-disc box set alongside featuring Alphaville, Le Mépris, Breathless, and Une Femme est Une Femme.

The special features include the following…
• Introduction by Colin McCabe
• Anna Karina interview
• Godard, Love and Poetry (53min)
• Film Analysis by Jean-Bernard Pouy
• Trailer (2min)
• German TV advert (4min)
• Posters

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About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on May 16, 2016, in Must See, Thriller, World Cinema and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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