Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Fuller’

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“Pierrot le fou,” dir. Jean-Luc Godard

October 3, 2009
Samuel Fuller explains cinema to Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo)

Samuel Fuller and Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo)

Godard makes movies as if he’s got a love-hate relationship with cinema, and in this case, he’s madly in love with it. Intoxicated with the possibilities of film language, Godard executes a full-on assault on movie conventions, and he performs it with gleeful precision.

Early on in the story, Sam Fuller makes a cameo appearance and lays out his definition of film. He covers every aspect – (“love, hate, action, violence, death. In one word EMOTION.”) – and Godard runs through all of them without caring for something as trivial as, oh, plot.

Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina)

Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina)

When we’re introduced to Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo), he’s dragged to a party where every guest regurgitates ad copy. When he runs into an old flame, he jumps ship – not just from his life but from the movie itself. One thing leads to a murder and the next thing you know, they’re on the run, role-playing their way through gangster shoot-outs and musical interludes. (At one point, they even act out cultural caricatures for a group of American tourists.)

Pop culture may have been a deadening influence on the materialistic bores ditched by Ferdinand at the beginning of the film. But for the rest of the picture, pop culture becomes invigorating in its artificiality, flipped in reverse as an expression of Pierrot and Marianne’s id.

A delirious, anarchic masterpiece, this is a gorgeous landmark of the ’60s and possibly Godard’s most enjoyable work.

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina step into some new roles

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina step into some new roles

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