• Every ten years since 1952, the world-renowned film magazine Sight & Sound has polled a wide international selection of film critics and directors on what they consider to be the ten greatest works of cinema ever made, and then compiled the results. The top fifty movies in the 2012 critics’ list, unveiled August 1, include twenty-five Criterion titles. In this series, we highlight those classic films.

    Jean-Luc Godard’s sui generis 1965 lovers-on-the-lam romance Pierrot le fou has steadily become one of its director’s most beloved films. With its gloriously bright colors; winning performances by Godard regulars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Anna Karina, as a disillusioned husband and his child’s babysitter, who hit the road and leave their bourgeois lives in the dust; and apocalyptic spirit, Pierrot le fou is endlessly entertaining, and it marked something of an end point for Godard’s run of more accessible New Wave entries. It’s also an influential film. Some critics have picked up on references to it in Wes Anderson’s recent Moonrise Kingdom. And the great director Chantal Akerman has said that if she’d never seen Pierrot le fou, she would never have become a filmmaker. Here’s a clip of an interview with Akerman (from our DVD edition of Jeanne Dielman, also a film in the poll’s top fifty), in which she talks about her experience of watching Pierrot le fou for the first time.

8 comments

  • By Batzomon
    August 25, 2012
    09:08 AM

    Godard might as well have invented color; he uses it so well here that it makes the social commentary ever so lovely to see. Of all his socially-minded films, this one is the breeziest in my mind.
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    • By Dan
      August 25, 2012
      01:41 PM

      I agree. The use of color, though, is definitely inspired and owed to Nicholas Ray. This is probably my favorite Godard at the moment.
  • By VseslavBotkin
    August 25, 2012
    02:00 PM

    put this back in print!!
    Reply
  • By Mervyn
    August 26, 2012
    06:24 PM

    Definitely my favourite Goddard, owning the OTT Blu Ray feels so good.
    Reply
  • By Mark H.
    August 26, 2012
    09:17 PM

    Along with The Third Man and The Man Who Fell To Earth, the only Criterion blu-ray's already out of print. This one is much more affordable at $40 to $50 on after market sites with the other two going for $100+ for anyone still looking to pick this one up. Goddard films are exquisite on their second viewing. Recommend pairing this one with Weekend some evening.
    Reply
  • By Steve
    August 27, 2012
    12:48 AM

    Why is Criterion promoting a film they lost the rights to? It will be several years before they are presented with the opportunity to regain it.
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    • By Shaun
      August 27, 2012
      02:30 AM

      I was wondering the same thing, Steve. Then again many hundreds (thousands?) own the Criterion disc and they are rightfully proud of their edition.
    • By Jeff Stills
      August 27, 2012
      07:02 AM

      Yes. because maybe it's not just about selling discs... also if you read the top of the post, it's part of the 25 flms that made the poll, so it would be hard to leave it out. I also am glad I already own a copy, btw.

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