Pierrot le fou (1965)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Pierrot le fou</strong> (1965)

(In French, On Cable TV, October 2018) I’m not working with the largest of reference pools when it comes to writer/director Jean-Luc Godard’s work, and so watching Pierrot le fou so soon after À bout de Souffle is a bit like going over much of the same terrain. Once again, we have a man (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo) on the run, pursued by violent forces, followed cinéma-vérité-style with a romantic relationship complicating everything, all leading to a tragic end. This is an overly reductive plot summary, but it does encapsulate my own similar reaction to the work. Except that Pierrot le fou isn’t quite as accomplished, as vital, as interesting as À bout de souffle. This being said, it’s Godard’s first colour film and clearly a more expensive production, which does have qualities of its own, slick and colourful. The presence of women and guns ensures that it’s not uninteresting, but it does have its annoyances, from free-flowing improvisational dialogue that doesn’t have the concision best suited to those kinds of films. I’m still glad I’ve seen it, but it’s one step shy of essential.

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