Notes and Editorial Reviews
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French auteur Jean-Luc Godard continues his fascination with the crime genre--after BREATHLESS and BAND OF OUTSIDERS--with PIERROT LE FOU. After escaping his stale, bourgeois marriage, Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a man on the run, encounters a captivating woman, Marianne (Godard's then-wife, Anna Karina). Striking up an immediate connection, the two begin a freewheeling affair that leads them to the Mediterranean Sea. There's one slight problem, though. Marianne is being pursued by a group of bloodthirsty mobsters who have chased her out of Algeria. Making matters worse for Ferdinand is the...
unfortunate fact that she turns out to be as much of a headache as his wife was, constantly referring to him as "Pierrot," much to his disdain. As their relationship reaches its boiling point, the hit men arrive, threatening to terminate both their relationship and their lives. Based on Lionel White's OBSESSION, PIERROT LE FOU is an example of a filmmaker's lack of preparation actually working to his benefit. Godard has said that he had no script on which to proceed, forcing him to make up the film as he went along. It is this seemingly improvised, brisk pacing--in addition to the performances of Belmondo and Karina--that makes the film such a fresh and original twist on an oft-mimicked genre.
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