Jean-Luc Godard has been called the most self-conscious, the most realistic, and the most modern of filmmakers. To his appreciators this means he owns up to the fact that a movie is a movie, that at any moment in one of ... more »his films you know you're watching a film by Jean-Luc Godard. His films are self-aware in a way that films never were before him. Pierrot le Fou achieves a rare spontaneity and naturalness, largely due to the presence of Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina, but also because of Godard's willingness to let go of any pretense to an illusionary or mimetic style, so-called "realism." What story there is has Pierrot (Belmondo) escaping from his boring life along with Marianne Renoir (Karina), who is chased by gangsters. But this is just an excuse to film a kind of essay to lost love, a poem to Karina that is delightful. If "Pierrot goes wild," then so does Godard, with Belmondo standing in for him in his pursuit of and journey with Karina. Godard is not for everyone, admittedly, but for those with the wherewithal to enjoy his films, they are receiving new life on DVD. Whatever coterie taste survives today has been distributed in multiple across the Internet and via the agency of video rental bins, perhaps all the more potent for that reach. Let's hope so. --Jim Gay« less
"My exposure to Godard films were through VHS tapes. I was too young to watch his 60's films in their original formats. The transfer is not too great but good enough. The colors are right, it is thankfully letterboxed, etc. even if there are a few image distortions, artifacts and the sharpness and overall quality leaves a lot of room for improvement. There is something very wrong, however, with the sound especially towards the fifth chapter (that's the 5th access in the chapter search of which there are only 6 - thanks to Fox/Lorber!) Thankfully, this is a subtitled film (can't be switched off/on, they're pasted on the screen) otherwise, even the French won't understand the French dialogue. The noise distortion is terrible, but could it be Godard's deliberate way to convey sound since it is the part in which the CB radios or walkie-talkies were being used in the scene? My impression is that the technician in charge was probably asleep or didn't care when this noise distortion was taking place and the DVD didn't go through quality control which could have fixed it. I haven't seen the original so I don't know but since this is a Godard film, anything goes. But then the distortion continued even after that scene so any reasoning to defend Fox's negligience on this matter proved futile. I found it terribly distracting and I thought it pulled down the quality all the more of this already mediocre DVD transfer. Is this the best version yet? How does the VHS version rate? Fox/Lorber is hit and miss with DVDs. They did good with Seven Beauties, Last Year at Marienbad, and the already LD Criterion-restored Umbrellas of Cherbourg and 400 Blows but did very poorly with A Woman is a Woman, several Truffaut films and even the relatively recent Padre Padrone. What a shame that a company like Fox/Lorber gets the rights to release these great Foreign films but doesn't have the interest to come up with quality transfers. I think this is a waste of our hard-earned money to buy the DVDs that they produce. Next time you buy from Fox/Lorber, read the reviews... otherwise just rent or wait for a better re-release in the future."
Wild and wonderful Godard. Washed out lousy transfer
Miko | 08/08/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw a print of this film in NYC in the late 80s. It was pristine, colorful and a great experience. Along with Truffaut, Godard epitomized the French New Wave of the '50s and '60s, and this film along with "Woman is a Woman," was one of his best. The use of color is amazing. Sadly, the source print for this DVD is oddly washed out, contains a few tears and pops in the sound track. It's hard to believe there wasn't a better copy available for Fox Lorber to use."
"Anglais" in French means "English"
Carolyn Miller | Hollywood, CA | 10/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Its amazing how certain people considers themselves know-it-alls in film, but really don't know anything. First of all, one person said this was Raoul Coutard's method in making the film look this way... Umm, wrong. And the reason why I know because I just bought a perfect print of Pierrot le Fou from Amazon's French website. The print and sound is so perfect, you'd think Criterion did it. So this horrible Fox Lorber version just doesn't cut it. They did a lazy job in restoring this masterpiece, so there's no excuses for its horrible print. And it makes me ponder as to why anyone would defend Fox Lorber and its not-so-good track record.
The beautiful version I bought (must have a multifuction DVD player to play it. And it comes with English Subtitles) totally unliminated that irritating sound where the scene with the walky-talky came up. (Trust me, if you have the Fox Lober version, you'll know what scene I'm talking about)."
What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence
Jeffrey R Galipeaux | 11/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At my local UC PIERROT is shown in the survey of film history class they offer. I was invited to sit in once. Normally the professor shows the film, then lectures. He screened PIERROT. When it was over, there was total silence. He started to lecture, but almost the entire lecture hall of students walked out. A good friend told me later that she had been profoundly moved, and she simply didn't want to understand why. She didn't feel it was respectful to what she had just seen. PIERROT is on of the few examples of true mystical cinema that we have. Yes, there are the references to Rimbaud, Hollywood musicals, gangster films.... The visual puns, the references to Godard and Karina's life at the time, the improvisations, the barbs about American commercialism, the Gish-rebeling-against-Grifith quality of Karina's amazing performance... But what do they matter?Sunlight/love/color/the face/poetry/emotion/loss of love/slapstick/image/life: PIERROT LE FOU"
Jeffrey R Galipeaux | 08/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The five stars go to the movie, not to the dvd edition.This is a joyful, playful, charming movie by Godard, of course. But the dvd edition is simply infamous and shows and amazing contempt for the viewer.The picture quality is poor, the sound is even worse and half of the subtitles can't be read. Although the letterbox format has been respected, no one has bothered to place the subtitles in the lower black fringe. When the white letters happen to be on white and pale colours you can't read a thing. Godard does not seem to be much fancied at Fox/Lorber quarters: they haven't spent a dime on this edition."