Pierrot le Fou is the Pick of the Week

Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 stylish masterpiece starts off a new week of releases.
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I know that legendary director Jean-Luc Godard, by many, should be taken with a grain of salt (or ten), but for me, he is one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time. He marches to be beat of his own drum, and he makes films the way he wants to. Obviously, he always includes politics in his movies, whether subtle or outrageous, and his characters (at least some of them) feel as if they're from another planet. However, that is what's so unique about them. There are so many references in his work to history, relationships, religion, and of course, the cinema. Perhaps, his most stylish creation is his 1965 road movie classic, Pierrot le Fou, which also possesses a devil-may-care attitude that has influenced many films of its kind ever since.

Starring two of the most beautiful people to ever grace the screen, film legends Jean-Paul Belmondo and the late Anna Karina are Ferdinand and Marianne. Ferdinand is a married man, bored and unsatisfied with life, and Marianne is his daughter's babysitter, who happens to be a former lover. They take off together and leave the bourgeois world behind. He eventually finds that she isn't whom she appears to be, especially after they are being chased by thugs. Their crime spree ends in the Mediterranean, where he shoots her dead and he accidentally blows himself up.

Of course, with Belmondo and Karina at their most charismatic and colorful, intoxicating cinematography by iconic cinematographer Raoul Coutard, and unpredictable direction by Godard, and you have a true landmark of the French New Wave, one that still stuns and feels refreshing, even 55 years later.

Unexpectedly coming back into the Criterion Collection, a few years after being OOP (out-of-print), I bet the new restoration looks incredible, despite having already been on Blu-ray from Criterion. The supplements aren't new, but they're still viable. They include a 2007 interview with Karina; a 2007 video essay written and narrated by filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin; a 50-minute documentary (also from 2007), directed by Luc Lagier, about director Jean-Luc Godard and his work and marriage with Karina; excerpts of interviews from 1967 with Godard, Karina, and Belmondo; and trailer. There's also a booklet with an essay by critic Richard Brody, a 1969 review by Andrew Sarris (Blu-ray only), and a 1965 interview with Godard. 

If you don't already own the previous release (especially as a collector's item), then this should be a definite no-brainer for your entertainment collection. It is a true must-have and must-see! Read my review.

Other releases:

Eli Roth's History of Horror (Season 1): AMC presents a six-part documentary look at the history and pop cultural significance of horror films.

Drop Dead Gorgeous (Warner Archive): A dark comedy about a small-town beauty pageant that turns deadly as it becomes obvious that someone will stop at nothing to win.

The Secret to My Success (Kino): Michael J. Fox stars as a farmboy from Kansas who moves to New York City to work in big business. His lack of experience threatens his job prospects and he can only get by with the help of his uncle. When he sees a pretty young executive, he disguises himself as an up-and-comer to get her attention. While she ignores him and he tackles two jobs at once, the CEO's wife pursues him with a lust as big as the Empire State Building.

Curse of the Undead (Kino): A fun and cheesy western with a horror twist: a mysterious gunslinger-for-hire named Drake Robey turns out to be a vampire, and it's up to a preacher to save the day, his town, and his lady love.

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