Monday, December 15, 2008

Pierrot Le Fou

Pierrot Le Fou marks the point in the class where I am officially at a loss to fully make sense of Godard's films. Each of his films from here on out warrant repeated viewings, and your mileage may vary depending on how offended or supportive you are of Godard's politics during this period, which can be polarizing or even heavy handed to newcomers.

The film reminded me of stories of Bonnie and Clyde. It seems to have been somewhat influenced by the legendary duo in its crime-spree-on-the-road feel, and it's obvious that the American film named after the gangster duo (more on that later) was in turn inspired by Pierrot Le Fou, though more by its style than its politics. That's where Pierrot deviates from the Bonnie and Clyde story; Godard's overt and sometimes out of place politics, here best shown in a short sequence involving "Uncle Sam's nephew and Uncle Ho's niece," where the titular characters are extreme caricatures (complete with yellowface) of their respective home countries.

I saw this as another big step for Godard as he seems to continually disown his American pop-culture influences and roots (see the bourgeois party scene at the beginning of the film). He's angry, but never to angry to make a joke on culture when it suits him.

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