There was a reason why I didn't stand in line to see Godard films but I had forgotten what it was. Until I went to see Pierrot Le Fou, playing at BAM. Then I remembered: the pretentiousness. The smugness.
I like some Godard films: Breathless and A Band Apart are lovely. I appreciate his enormous contribution to the evolution of cinema. The free, fluid camera, the spontaneity, the playfulness, the love of the medium. But 1. I much prefer his contemporaries Truffaut, Louis Malle, J. P. Melville; 2. the pretentiousness is hard to bear. You can give him brownie points for experimentation with a disjointed narrative. Fine. But Pierrot le Fou is maddening. Tries to be funny and is only in spurts. It seems, with all due respect, sophomoric. You can entertain yourself watching Godard's beautiful muse, the sprightly Anna Karina, who is lovingly shot and who is a master at charming gallic nonchalance. You can try to find the missing charm in Jean Paul Belmondo's completely indifferent performance as you marvel at his charisma and the geography of his face, complete with dangling cigarette at all times. You can try to forgive the cheap, stupid shots at Americans that befit a bad student film. If you have patience with auteurs whose motivation seems to be to epater le bourgeois, this may be an enjoyable movie for you. Not for me.