Thursday, 4 July 2013

Capital Celluloid 2013 - Day 202: Sun Jul 21

Pierrot Le Fou (Godard,1965) & Bande a Part (Godard, 1964):
Riverside Cinema, 3pm & 5.15pm

When Pierrot Le Fou, which will surely come to be seen as one of Jean-Luc Godard's finest, was re-released in 1989 after many years out of circulation, critic Jonathan Rosenbaum had this to say in an article in Chicago Reader : "Looking at Pierrot Le Fou again almost a quarter of a century after it was made, 20 years after its initial U.S. release, is a bit like visiting another planet; it’s an explosion of color, sound, music, passion, violence, and wit that illustrates what used to be regarded as cinema."

It's impossible to give a swift synopsis for Pierrot Le Fou in which Jean Paul Belmondo, ostensibly escaping stifling domesticity, and Anna Karina, fleeing a group of gangsters, depart Paris for the south of France suffice to say that it is brimming with ideas and scenes of extraordinary complexity. My abiding memories of seeing this the first time was of the vitality and colour - I was reminded when viewing it again last year that this was also a caustic commentary by the director on his relationship with Karina. Still, a huge treat and a film you will not forget in a hurry.

If I had to pick one excerpt it would be
this one in which fellow director Sam Fuller is asked what is the meaning of cinema: "Film is like a battleground", recounts the American filmmaker. "Love, hate, action, violence, death. In one word: emotion." 

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Chicago Reader review of Bande a Part:
A gangster story, sort of, by Jean-Luc Godard, who supposedly told his backers that he was going to make a sequel to Breathless and then delivered this mix of musical comedy, slapstick, violence, and incidental observations on politics and philosophy. Claude Brasseur, Sami Frey, and Anna Karina make fairly inept burglars, but they do a wonderful version of the “Steam Heat” number from Stanley Donen's The Pajama Game. This 1964 feature remains one of Godard's most appealing and underrated films, relatively relaxed and strangely optimistic.
Dave Kehr

Here is the trailer.


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