Pierrot le Fou

Friday, March 22 - Sunday, March 24, 2019

“Six stars! Is Jean-Luc Godard’s unmissable movie a recapitulation of all the themes that came before in his oeuvre, a sneak peek at the dense cine-tracts that would follow, his most conventional film or his most beautiful one? Watching this staggeringly gorgeous new 35mm print, you’ll most likely find yourself echoing the sentiments of Marianne Renoir (Karina), on the lam with Ferdinand (Belmondo) on the Côte d’Azur: ‘I feel alive, and that’s all that matters.’

“Sandwiched between Godard’s black-and-white Alphaville (1964) and Masculine-Feminine (1966), PIERROT LE FOU pulsates, much like Two or Three Things I Know About Her… (1967), with the primary hues of France’s tricolor. Red (of the dress Marianne—note that name—wears and the blood of her victims) and blue (of the Mediterranean and the face paint Ferdinand applies before blowing himself up) become characters in their own right.

“Like the titular nickname Marianne gives Ferdinand, Godard’s widescreen dazzler is crazy— with references to both culture (Velázquez, Johnny Guitar and Balzac are mentioned in the first five minutes) and atrocities (the Algerian and Vietnam Wars). PIERROT LE FOU is also crazy in love with its two leads. But how crazy is this: Yé-yé star Sylvie Vartan was originally offered Karina’s role, and JLG approached Richard Burton before Belmondo. Karina and Godard were nearing the end of their personal (and professional) relationship by the time PIERROT was released; Belmondo, the star of Breathless, never worked with the director again. All of which underscores the definition of cinema Sam Fuller, in a cameo, proffers: ‘In a word: emotion.'” – Melissa Anderson, Time Out New York

Part of our Winter 2019 season of Weekend Classics: Early Godard.

  • Country France
  • Language In French with English subtitles.
  • Year 1965
  • Running Time 110 minutes
  • Distributor Rialto
  • Director Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writer Jean-Luc Godard
  • Editor Francoise Collin
  • Cinematographer Raoul Coutard
  • Cast Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Graziella Galvani

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.