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Jean-Luc Godard / France / Comedy-drama / Subtitles / 110 minutes / 1965 / Colour
In tribute to Anna Karina (1940-2019), legendary figure of the French New Wave, muse of Jean-Luc Godard, and style icon, we screen Pierrot le Fou to celebrate Anna, the unforgettable Marianne Renoir.
“Godard had already shot five films with Anna Karina including Band of Outsiders (1964) and Alphaville (1965); and with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Breathless (1960), A Woman is a Woman (1961) (also starring Karina), before turning to this dazzling masterpiece. Loosely based on Lionel White’s American novel Obsession, Ferdinand (Pierrot le Fou) is an unhappily married man who flees Paris for the South of France with Marianne, his babysitter and ex-girlfriend, who is on the run from gangsters. Filmed in glorious widescreen colour by cinematographer Raoul Coutard, red and blue dominate the image. Quotations, meta-references, and improvisation fill the screen. Godard transforms cinematic conventions with wild editing, breaks in continuity and sound. A road-movie, pop art in celluloid, Pierrot le Fou is free-spirited, impulsive, glib and lyrical. As Samuel Fuller, famously defining cinema, says in a cameo appearance in the movie: “A film is like a battleground: love, hate, action, violence, death — in one word, emotion.” (Marie-Pierre Richard)