- Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, France/Italy, 1965)
This is the only day that I've only scheduled one film - the calm before the storm? I know that MIFF Senior Programmer Michelle Carey is very fond of Jean-Luc Godard and recommended the three Godard films in the Anna Karina retrospective. Me, I'm still not sold on his work and that ambivalence continues with this brand new print of Pierrot le fou. It's a lovely looking film, it's bizarre, with a strange sense of humour that appeals to me. Still, there's something I can't engage with, and today's screening revealled to me something new.
A recurring feature of Godard's films is, of course, his intellectualism. What I noted today is that his films border on didacticism. L'histoire(s) du cinèma is a manifesto, maybe even an angry rant at the audience. That element is there in Alpahaville and I detected it again in Pierrot le fou. Paul Belmondo's character is a surrogate for Godard, giving us the same monotone rant. Godard may be a pioneer of French cinema, or perhaps cinema itself, and I respect his intellect, but his films don't talk to me. They don't grab me by the jugular and compel me to get involved in their stories. They leave me feeling indifferent and I may be the loser, but I don't care. Not yet, anyhow. I'm going to continue exploring the work of Godard and remain open to the possibilities, but it hasn't struck me yet. Pierrot le fou is definitely worth watching, but I don't rate it highly.