Archive for the ‘pete the madman’ Category

“Pete the madman”, a film by Jean-Luc Godard. Released in 1965.


Ferdinand is tired of the meaningless life he has in Paris. Those around him are only concerned with their material needs. And that he cannot stand. Only books and poetry in particular matters to him. One evening on the way home, he accidentally meets Marianne, a previous love, who came to babysit his children. Then leaves it all and spend the night with her in her apartment. The next morning Fernand comes acrss a dead body. She explain that she is pursued by gangsters for an arms trafficking affair to which she has been unintentionally involved. They go south and then burn the car on the roadside. This is the beginning of a long getaway to the sunny south, where their passion leads them. But soon enough, their respective sense of freedom will take over their mad love.

Jean-Luc Godard inspired by a novel by Lionel White, transposes it to the screen adding his staccato style and revealing all its poetry. The ellipses, which punctuate the story from beginning to end, give the narrative a sense of breakneck speed. All these breaks in the film, like the ones in timing or the fact that the actors speak directly to the camera, are all transgressions vis-à-vis the “cinema de papa”. A film moving with the times in a libertarian tone that caused the film to be censored. A fiery hero and a free woman, we have there two characters who prefigure the student movement of 1968.