This is a poster of Jean-Luc Godard’s film, Pierrot le Fou (1965). I saw this in a class led by Jean-Pierre Gorin (he made films with Godard in the late 1960s) and these were his words on the film: “You will never see anything like this.”
He was right. Pierrot confused me in all the best ways. I wasn’t even sure what had transpired, yet I couldn’t stop thinking about it. After many viewings, the film comforts me, its strange quality, the very thing that I come back to.
Some years ago, I was fortunate to attend the Telluride Film Festival’s Student Symposium. To get in to the program, you had to write an essay about the film you would take with you into the future. Pierrot le Fou is the film I said I’d take with me. Here’s a bit of what I wrote:
“Godard never forgets that an audience is watching…With this acknowledgement of the spectacle, what happens between the camera and the actor becomes even more relevant to the viewer.Rather than being a conventional romantic relationship between a man and woman, a viewer connects with Karina and Belmondo on various levels, from the personal to the aesthetic to the fantastical.”
I also figured that a film that confused me might be an interesting thing to have around, especially if it was the only thing to watch. What’s the one film you would take into the future?