Pierrot le Fou – Jean-Luc Godard (1965)

Pierrot le Fou (pronounced [pjɛʁo lə fu], French for ‘Crazy Pierrot’) is a 1965 French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina. The film is based on the 1962 novel Obsession by Lionel White. It was Godard’s tenth feature film, released between Alphaville and Masculin, féminin. The plot follows Ferdinand, an unhappily married man, as he escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by OAS hit-men from Algeria. … Ferdinand Griffon is unhappily married and has been recently fired from his job at a TV broadcasting company. After attending a mindless party full of shallow discussions in Paris, he feels a need to escape and decides to run away with ex-girlfriend Marianne Renoir, leaving his wife and children and bourgeois lifestyle. Following Marianne into her apartment and finding a corpse, Ferdinand soon discovers that Marianne is being chased by OAS gangsters, two of whom they barely escape. Marianne and Ferdinand, whom she calls Pierrot – an unwelcome nickname meaning “sad clown” – go on a crime spree from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea in the dead man’s car. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run, pursued by the police and by the OAS gangsters. When they settle down in the French Riviera after burning the dead man’s car (which had been full of money, unbeknownst to Marianne) and sinking a second car into the Mediterranean Sea, their relationship becomes strained. Ferdinand reads books, philosophizes, and writes a diary. They spend a few days on a desert island. A dwarf, who is one of the gangsters, kidnaps Marianne. She kills him with a pair of scissors. Ferdinand finds him murdered and is caught and bludgeoned by two of his accomplices, who waterboard him to make him reveal Marianne’s whereabouts. Marianne escapes, and she and Ferdinand are separated. He settles in Toulon while she searches for him everywhere until she finds him. After their eventual reunion, Marianne uses Ferdinand to get a suitcase full of money before running away with her real boyfriend, Fred, to whom she had previously referred as her brother. …”
Criterion (Video)
YouTube: Pierrot Le Fou – Trailer

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