Artifice. I don’t know why, but today it suddenly hit me, just as I made the decision earlier this afternoon to watch Pierrot again, that artifice is really all that Godard’s films are ultimately about. Nothing inherently wrong with artifice, of course, and I’m sure that I’ve always known this about Godard’s films, but for some reason it hit me today like a great revelation. With that in mind I put the disc in the player… and, well, I still don’t like it. I first saw it in a film theory class 15 years ago, that week’s lecture being about colour in film, and this was the feature-length illustration. At the time I was baffled by the choice, possibly because the school’s copy of the film was taped off SBS and it wasn’t going to look good under the conditions there. Fifteen years later, with the miracle of DVD I can finally see what the colour-related fuss was about… but I didn’t like the film anyway back in 1995 and I don’t particularly like it now; something about it just rings hollow and empty. Just artifice and not much else going on.
Pierrot le fou (1965)