Sight & Sound Poll 2012: Pierrot le fou

On Film / Short Takes — Aug 24, 2012

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.