Pierrot Goes Wild

Interweaving drama, action, romance and film noir within a unique stylistic approach which itself manifests the expression of a political stance, combined with an improvisational method both in its technique and in its narrative qualities, the New Wave film Pierrot le Fou has become an avant-garde classic, in no small way due to the perfect performances of Jean-Paul Belmondo (Ferdinand Griffon) and Anna Karina (Marianne Renoir). Built around Ferdinand Griffon and Marianne Renoir's tempestuous affair, the film can possibly be considered a sequel of A bout de souffle, either because of an inserted image of Jean Seberg or because of Jean-Paul Belmondo's way of smoking cigarettes. In Pierrot le Fou, in making use of political and intellectual references, Godard summarizes the life-style of the Sixties which demolished all life-styles that came before it and which was based on the individual's free will, his ability to choose. Pierrot is a wish-fulfillment persona taken on by the extremely bored Ferdinand, who lives only for literature and reflection. Can the anarchistic Marianne with her murky past, who is being hunted by some men because of her involvement in the Battle of Algiers be a rebellious woman whom Ferdinand has constructed from his favourite writings and paintings? As a typical French literature enthusiast, Ferdinand writes endlessly and spends all his money on books. When Marianne's reaction to him is "I want to live", she urges us to reflect on the contradictions of theory and practice presented in this film rich in existentialism. In this context, Marianne is a symbol of Godard's criticism of the intellectual's attitude of living for writing, but never for action. And her surname, Renoir, is an expression of Godard's devotion to French cinema. Pierrot le Fou, standing on the brink of over-politicization and excessive poeticizing (Godard is always criticized because of these qualities), is a contemplative and arduously demanding - but above all, enrapturing – film. Through his characters, dialogues, references and editing, it is an all time classic.

Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard

Raoul Coutard

Rome-Paris Films

Anna Karina
Dirk Sanders
Graziella Galvani
Jean Paul Belmondo
Raymond Devos
Samuel Fuller

Antoine Duhamel

9th Festival on Wheels