Pierrot le Fou

Introduced by David Thomson

As the structure of genres broke down, Jean-Luc Godard began to make films, with the same mix of honey and acid you get in Billy Wilder. Pierrot le Fou is his film where all genres are snakes eating their own tails (and tales). You get everything: old lovers reunited / the superficial modern world trashed / the Vietnam war explained / the South, the sun, the light / a musical / a shaggy dog story / firing guns / doing Michel Simon as Boudu / casual betrayal / revenge / the difference between childishness and innocence. This is a film where one can clearly anticipate an end to Godard's “conventional” feature film work. It is still, forty years later, a question mark: can we revivify old forms or are we doomed to repeat them? There is at least a glimpse of the end of the cinema, and the mood is chilling as well as hot as the south of France.

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