7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Better A Second Time,
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This review is from: Pierrot Le Fou [DVD] (DVD)
Bought this recently from Amazon,noticed wide mix of reviews/ratings (Godard always did divide opinion) so thought I'd add my own two penneth.
Firstly, watch it at least twice, and preferably within a few days. On first viewing, I found it rather annoyingly disjointed and indulgent. But the second viewing open my eyes and mind to see more in it - OK it's got Godard's Hollywood/Gangster obsessions in there & seemingly improv scenes (Anna Karina denied this, saying Godard always rehearsed each scene). But it is vibrant, quick-paced, colourful and visual stunning (hats off to Raoul Coutard once again), dramatic, yet comical and even has some 'musical' bits for good measure! Plus Belmondo oozes cool and wears ace threads, and Karina is utterly stunningly beautiful to watch in this femme fatale role.
It is much better than the vastly over-rated 'Le Mepris'(Colourful,has Bardot and Palance, yes, but boy is it S L O W and unabsorbing). Halliwell thought the latter was excellent, yet dismissed both 'Pierrot Le Fou' and especially 'Bande A Part' as rubbish. Both are far superior films IMHO. 'Pierrot' shares 'Le Mepris's wonderful use of technicolor for exterior locations (here the sumptuous South of France), but also shows signs that Godard was already thinking about 'Weekend'- Tracking shots are often used, and there's a scene where B & K encounter a crashed car in the countryside with injured/ dead passengers and K convinces B to leave their own car there and make it look like they too crashed.
Karina was of course 'Mrs Godard' in the 60's and played a wide range of characters in each successive film they made together. Here she is involved with terrorists, where dead bodies are casually displayed in shot without any reference to their presence; yet when the film starts, she is also Belmondo's babysitter! She looks jaw-droppingly gorgeous throughout, and look out for the scene with the scissors in close-up, you can get postcards with this iconic image (I got one in Paris years ago) - a better image of ice-cool femme fatale you won't see.
Its not a perfect film, but it is well worth sticking with if the first viewing doesn't do it for you. As well as extras mentioned in other reviews, you can either watch original French with subtitles, or the default English overdubbed version, personally I recommend the former as some scenes are left untranslated in the overdubbed one. So four stars, not perfect, but very good - definitely worth it.
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Initial post: 9 Dec 2013 20:45:35 GMT
J. Estes says:
I love "Pierre Le Fou" and "Contempt." Honestly, I didn't care for "Contempt" the 1st or 2nd time I saw it, but now it's my second favorite Godard right after "Pierre Le Fou." If you have any feeling for Godard (and many don't), the more films you see the more you'll enjoy. Each time I return to "Contempt," I find something new. I find all of the films from "Breathless" through "Weekend" (1960 - 1967) exciting and enjoyable . From 1968 to 1979, Godard made only Marxist uncommercial films which can be trying even for his admirers. Godard returned to commercial filmmaking in 1980 with "Every Man for Himself" (AKA "Slow Motion") to the present. "Goodbye to Language in 3D" (!) was released in late August 1913. These films are quite different different from his 1960 - 1967 New Wave heyday. The best places to begin are "Every Man for Himself "and "Passion." Some of these films like "Oh, Woe Is Me" and "King Lear" can be quite demanding. Don't miss "Histoire(s) du Cinéma" which is essential. Godard devotees like myself will want to see all of his post 1979 features. Some of the short films, documentaries, and video essays are also worthwhile, particularly "JLG/JLG: Self-Portrait in December" and "Germany Year 90 Nine Zero," but can be difficult to find. Please take into account that I've not seen any of the post 2001 shorts and documentaries.
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