The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, December 16-22

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina in Jean-Luc Godard’s PIERROT LE FOU (1965). Courtesy Film Forum via Photofest. Playing December 18-24.

 

Pierrot le fou (1965)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Ferdinand Griffon (Jean-Paul Belmondo) has a lot to escape from: his wealthy wife, their children, a job somebody would like him to have. To hell with it! An old girlfriend, Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina) turns up, and the two make a run for the South and the sea, stealing cars, burning money, weaving in and out of some international gun-running scheme, and eventually getting bored (her) and getting started on a magnum opus (him). Having divorced Anna Karina before shooting commenced, Godard had nowhere to run—but it wasn’t his ex-wife he wanted to leave behind, it was everything he had thought about cinema before. His 1965 working version of it is very bright, a little anarchic, a soupcon sexy, quite silly, a tiny bit too long. Ferdinand lives up to his nickname—Pierrot the clown is eternally getting dumped. But murder-suicide isn’t the point, we must remember. What fool said there was one? Elina Mishuris (December 18-24 at Film Forum; showtimes daily)

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