I recently watched the French New Wave film Pierrot le Fou (Peter the Fool) by director Jean-Luc Godard. A story about a man named Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo), who dissatisfied with his marriage and bourgeois lifestyle runs away with the babysitter, Marianne (Anna Karina).
Soon they lead a less ordinary lifestyle – always on the run, either being chased by Algerian gangsters or the police. Marianne refers to Ferdinand as ‘Pierrot’ much to his annoyance (and hence the ‘Pierrot’ in the title). Eventually they settle down near the Mediterranean Sea, philosophising about life, reading... and more philosophising.
Marianne soon becomes bored of this quaint, non-materialistic lifestyle and wants to move into town. After some time apart, the couple is reunited and Ferdinand discovers that Marianne is not all she has appeared, which leads to a violent and strangely comical conclusion.
Many years ago I would have found this film a little too arty and wanky (those are film terms) and I must say there were certainly times when I wondered WTF was going on. But I loved this film’s youthful vibrancy, it’s use of colours and pop art and the idyllic Mediterranean scenery.
The leads were excellent. Jean-Paul Belmondo worked with Godard on his previous film ‘Breathless', which I think was his breakthrough role. Anna Karina would become the muse and wife of Godard and appear in many of his films.
This film turned out to be a lot of fun.