Friday, October 11, 2013

Five Nights With...Killer Couples: Pierrot le Fou

So, here we are, at the end of the week and the end of this series for the month.  This has been a fun week of crazy mayhem and some astute observations not only on violence but also on the danger of striving for celebrity.

To close the week, we get to talk about a very special film.  You can read Josh's review of the film here (thanks for playing along buddy).

So...what film are we discussing today?

Easily (and I mean that in the boldest of senses) one of my favorite films of all time, ‘Pierrot le Fou’ is cinematic perfection personified.  There isn’t a single moment of this film that doesn’t fill me with every emotion needed to captivate and just thrust me into a sensory overdose.  From the lush sets to the engaged performances to the witty banter to the sharply edited sequences to the ravishingly spectacular script, ‘Pierrot le Fou’ is, in a word, perfect.

Enough gushing already.

The film tells the story of a dissatisfied husband who has married solely for money, not for love, and thus embarks on a passion filled escapade with the babysitter.  Ferdinand is uninspired by his existence, but Marianne promises (with her bewitching walk and ‘come-hither’ eyes) a life free from regret.  He sees a future that encompasses everything his current state is lacking, and so he runs off with her, setting their sights on Paris (who wouldn’t?).  Things get sticky along the way, and the two find themselves engaged in acts of random violence they never imagined was their destiny.  Their adventure turns dangerous and soon they are left with nothing left to do but jump right into the fire.

The very thought of this movie makes me want to drop to my hands and knees and perform an act of worship.

I have and always will be an advocate for French cinema, especially the 60’s new wave campaigned by the likes of Francois Truffaut and my personal favorite film director (of all time) Jean-Luc Godard.  ‘Pierrot le Fou’ capitalizes on everything I find so enthralling about French new wave.  There is the obvious weighty themes but they are presented in an enchantingly jovial tone that keeps the audience entertained, even in the throes of crisis.  The colorful sets only serve as slick compliments to the films grounded performances (Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina were never better) and the films sharp editing helps embellish the complexities of the films plot. 

In the end, ‘Pierrot le Fou’ is about our personal convictions and the need, as people, to be invested in our own destiny. 

While one can easily point to the films sporadic delivery and ascertain that it is merely an ‘art’ film, one would be wrong in simply dismissing it for its entertainment value alone.  The film, for me, captures elements from all sides of the cinematic spectrum.  The film is deeply unsettling when you start to take its elements seriously (especially the eventualities contained in the films conclusion), which adds a completely different layer to the films tone.  The film is undeniably entertaining, which is not something many ‘art’ films can attest to being.  Most people label ‘art’ films as boring and needlessly complex (I’m not talking about myself here) but this film, which is most certainly an ‘art’ film, is far from either.  There is a rich poignancy here that transcends the films release date, and there is an enigmatic atmosphere that only helps elevate the films importance. 

It is fresh, it is exciting, it is dangerous, it is meaningful, and it is loud, abrasive and epic in every sense of the word.

It is cinema; cut, paste and send!

So that closes the week and now we get to anticipate next month's 'Five Nights With...'!  I'm thinking about doing something different for next month, and hopefully the rest of you can pick a night to play along.  I was flirting with the idea of a double feature type blogathon, and the thought of comparing different versions of monster movies caught my eye.  So, here is the schedule and film assignments for the next series!

11/4: Frankenstein (1931) vs. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
11/5: An American Werewolf in London (1981) vs. An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
11/6: Dracula (1971) vs. Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
11/7: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956) vs. Godzilla (1997)
11/8: King Kong (1933) vs. King Kong (2005)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link pal! :)

    Awesome review. I really need to rewatch this. I watched Masculin Feminin after I reviewed this, and it's *this* close to surpassing Pierrot. Obviously, I need to give Pierrot another look though.

    Yikes! I'm going to rewatch Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein soon, so I might chime in on the Frankenstein double feature.