Pierrot Le Fou, Art, and You
Jean-Luc Godard's film Pierrot Le Fou is in itself a challenging piece of cinematic art. The film, which experiments with elements of mise-en-scène, cinematography, and editing in an unconventional, intricate, and artistic manner, represents a milestone in the film genre known as the French New Wave, and continues to be important to the history of cinema today. With Pierrot Le Fou, director Godard expresses commentary on such things as mass culture, politics, America, literature, music, art, and cinema itself. These opinions are communicated to us throughout the film not only through the filmic techniques employed, but by the actors themselves; through their dialogue and their acknowledgment of the spectators presence. It is Godard's choices to employ a garish color scheme, references to mass culture, narrative intransivity, and the destruction of the “fourth wall” that allow for Pierrot Le Fou to highlight the dominant pop art movement occurring at the time as well as to confront viewers, express commentary concerning literature and cinema, and break the audience's willing suspension of disbelief.
Bright, vivid, and often primary shades of color, in addition to subject matter concerning references and depictions of elements present in mass culture describe the collective term of the artistic phenomena occurring in the 1950's and 60's known as “Pop Art.” In Pierrot Le Fou, we are made highly aware of such a movement as much of the film is styled according to such. This can be seen as early as in the opening credits, which slowly piece together in shades of bright red and blue (depicting at first a bunch of A's, B's, and C's) a title and credit screen. With such a flashy opening, characteristics of pop art are instantly alluded to; and continue to remain present throughout the remainder of the film. One of the most significant scenes in which this is conceptualized is the sequence in which the main character, Ferdinand,...
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