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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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on 4 August 2012
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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on 7 July 2017
Long after the current era of infantile superhero nonsense has vanished, this glorious work of art will remain.
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on 10 August 2017
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on 7 April 2016
Very good.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 December 2009
... then you'll probably like this, which I have discovered to my dismay, I do not. I have tried to get into the films of this reputed master of the French New Wave but with little success. Unlike Rohmer or Truffaut for example - directors whose many films I greatly enjoy, the only Godard film I actually do like is Alphaville.

With Godard I always feel as if I'm missing something obscure. His preoccupation with gangsters, and self-conscious examination of film as a medium seem to me get in the way. In `Pierrot' there is an unnerving surrealism bordering on comic unreality to scene after scene. The fight scene at the gas station is purposefully filmed as being on the verge of slapstick. There is no indication as to why this is and it washes up ineffectually against the rocks of more serious comments on the Vietnam war.

For me, the film earns two of its stars in the first few minutes of the opening scenes where Jean-Paul Belmondo visits a book shop and chooses so many books he can barely carry them. He takes them home and reads from one to his young daughter. A recurrent and very satisfactory theme in French cinema is that the characters are portrayed actually reading!

The disc comes with a good range of extras, including an introduction by Colin McCabe and a feature commentary by Jean-Bernard Pouy. I found the introduction and commentary are essential to understanding the film, revealing Godard's estrangement from his wife (lead actress Anna Karina), his enjoyment of cinematic jokes, and France's disillusionment with both the cinema and politics of 1960s America.

After listening to the extras, I developed a sympathy for Godard. I found the introduction and commentary both provided invaluable insight to the mind of a person who is to me an enigmatic and elusive filmmaker. It is here the disc earned the third star and it is from these that I learned a great deal. For a taste of Godard, I'd try Alphaville, Breathless and Pierrot le Fou.
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on 2 January 2005
One of the great movies of the 1960s, a man abandons his bourgeois life for a beautiful girl he refuses to understand who therefore destroys him. With incidental excursions into crime, terrorism, the betrayal of Adam by Eve, philosophy and its meaninglessness, the impracticality of intellectuals, and much humour. Sometimes described as a romance, but equally well experienced as satirical. Make up your own mind.....
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"Pierrot Le Fou," "Pierrot the Fool," (1965). Many people consider this brisk (110 minutes) French film by famed nouvelle vague (new wave) director Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless [DVD] [1959]) to be one of the glories of French cinema, as it attempts, in full color, to capture the dramatic wanderings about France of Ferdinand Griffon (Jean Paul Belmondo, BREATHLESS) and Marianne Renoir (played by Anna Karina, the beautiful actress/ former model married to Godard, who made Vivre Sa Vie [DVD] [1962], Criterion Collection: Band of Outsiders [DVD] [1964] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], and Alphaville [DVD] [1965] with him too).

These critics presumably would think that the film captures contemporaneous French cool as only Godard could imagine and depict it in this cerebral, sometimes witty, Comedy | Crime | Drama | Musical | Romance. At any rate, after he attends a mindless Paris party full of shallow chatter, Ferdinand suddenly feels a desperate need to escape the boring society in which he moves. So he runs away with his former lover/ children's baby-sitter for the evening, the college dropout, Marianne. But Marianne's dark past haunts her; she is being chased by Algerian hit men, as the pair embarks on their unorthodox road trip, heading inexorably toward their fates.

So why, you may ask, is the movie called "Pierrot Le Fou," when the male protagonist's name is Ferdinand? Ah, that's because Marianne, as she skips and capers adorably around-- she's so cute for the Guillotine-worthy serial killer she is, as even Ferdinand/Pierrot recognizes-- chooses to call Ferdinand by Pierrot. That's the name by which the French know an ancient famous French folk character, frequently played in pantomime, who's a bit of a fool. How cool can you be? Dear Marianne is evidently too cool for school. A word of explication here: I am not now, and never have been, a student of film: I just see, and react to, a lot of movies. Well, since the first moment I saw it, I have loved Godard's early movie BREATHLESS, and Belmondo, its star. But I really disliked this movie the first time I saw it, and I still do.
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on 11 December 2007
Godard given a bigger budget and enjoying himself. The summery saturated colours haunt the mind forever after. As too does Belmondo playing the sap given the run around who is simply mesmeric - the French Steve McQueen but, dare I say this, even more laid back. Great pace, silly, absurd, lush, lovely and comparatively accessible, a real joy.
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VINE VOICEon 2 June 2009
It's a postcard of post-modern obsessions depicting a world of transient feelings evoked by youth to nature, love, art,gangster films,literature,advertising,politics,philosophy and poetry. Marianne and Ferdinand are on the run towards the sun, sea and sands of the south of France.There is no plot, there is image and sensation, singing and spontaneity.Jean luc carries his camera like a gun and shoots the changing scenes wherever the two lead him. Beautiful primary colours and CINEMASCOPE with Brechtian deconstruction, actors addressing the camera or completing each others sentences or breaking into song and dance or quoting from old movies.The plot is silly and the characters do not develop.There are elements of Breathless and Le Mepris. If Rimbaud had used a camera instead of verse this may have been a creation of his.Godard is very much the punk revolutionary mocking the movies while he's paying them homage. There is an extraordinary freshness and vitality and topicality, attacking the Vietnam and Algerian war. Marianne describes her feelings about the loss of'115 guerillas'whom we are told nothing about. Anna Karenin is like the gangsters moll and the femme fatale,chased by Algerian gun-runners after the money and guns.Belmondo playing the double roll of Ferdinand/Pierre Le Fou will kill her and her lover, Fred, then blow up himself. Then their dialogue continues in death:`Eternity?No,it's just the sun and sea.' A quotation from Rimbaud's'L'Eternite'
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on 24 August 2016
Jean Paul was my favourite, enigmatic and great actor
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