Belmondo Retrospective: Pierrot Le Fou

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Belmondo Retrospective: Pierrot Le Fou

Join us for a screening of Pierrot Le Fou (1965), a story of "the last romantic couple," by Jean-Luc Godard.

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NYU Washington, DC - Abramson Family Auditorium 1307 L St NW Washington, DC 20005

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About this event

Alliance Française of Washington (AFDC) in partnership with New York University in Washington, DC (NYU) invites you to a screening of Pierrot Le Fou (1965), by Jean-Luc Godard on Tuesday, October 4. This event is part of the AFDC’s Film Festival “Belmondo Retrospective," which pays homage to the beloved French actor’s early career. The film will be shown in the Abramson Family Auditorium at NYU located at 1307 L St NW, Washington, DC.

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Valid Photo ID with proof of full Covid vaccination are required and must be provided at entrance. Face masks are required when inside the building. *Fully vaccinated is defined by full dose plus booster.

About the film

Pierrot Le Fou (1965) | 110 min | France | in French with English subtitles

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Anna Karina

Synopsis: Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo), unhappily married and recently fired from his job, abandons his family and runs off to the Riviera with the enigmatic Marianne (Anna Karina). Ferdinand, whom Marianne calls “Pierrot,” tries to find artistic fulfillment between bouts of criminal adventure, but keeps getting entangled in Marianne’s violent life. (Source: Rialto Pictures)

"... the tenth feature in six years by genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard is a stylish mash-up of anticonsumerist satire, au courant politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, “the last romantic couple.” With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le fou is one of the high points of the French New Wave, and was Godard’s last frolic before he moved ever further into radical cinema." (Source: The Criterion Collection)

About the Film Festival

Alliance Française of Washington, DC is thrilled to be back with its second Film Festival "BELMONDO RETROSPECTIVE," to pay homage to the beloved French actor’s early career.

An icon of the French New Wave, who became an overnight star after playing a gangster in Godard's Breathless, Jean-Paul Belmondo died last year on September 6 at the age of 88. His crooked boxer's nose (Belmondo did have an undefeated, but brief boxing career), dashing grin and cynical manner alone made him one of the most recognizable men in cinema. Called the French Marlon Brando, Belmondo was known for refusing to play in Hollywood films, but attracting nearly 160 million spectators in his 50-year career back home. Mostly remembered for his roles as police officers and gangsters, has he been overlooked in his more "serious" (but no less extraordinary) roles, for example, as a priest in Léon Morin, prêtre?

We invite you to join us in our rétrospective and (re-)discover this iconic French actor. The Film Festival is also a great chance to enjoy some of the best French film directors, including Godard, Melville, Resnais and Truffaut. We will also screen a documentary written by Belmondo's son and directed by Régis Mardon, in which Jean-Paul Belmondo returns to the locations of some of his great films and shares some secrets.

This film festival is brought to you by the Alliance Française of Washington, DC in collaboration with Rialto Pictures, France Channel, Villa Albertine, La Maison Française, Westfield Montgomery, AMC Montgomery 16, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, NYU Washington, AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, and The VEN at Embassy Row.

Scroll down for the full Film Festival schedule.

About Jean-Paul Belmondo

Jean-Paul Belmondo was born in the middle-class Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1933. His father, Paul Belmondo, who was born in Algiers to a family of Italian origin, was a highly regarded sculptor and a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts. His mother, Sarah (nee Rainaud-Richard), was a painter.

Jean-Paul Belmondo studied acting at the Paris Conservatory and became a star overnight in Godard’s Breathless (1960). The quintessential New Wave actor, Belmondo went on to work with most of the major directors of the 60s and 70s. He climaxed his Godardian phase with Pierrot le fou (1965), swashbuckled and globe-trotted in Philippe de Broca’s Cartouche (1962) and That Man from Rio (1964), wore a cassock and a trenchcoat for Jean-Pierre Melville’s Léon Morin, prêtre and Le Doulos (both 1961 and future Rialto Pictures releases), romanced Catherine Deneuve in Truffaut’s Mississippi Mermaid (1969), stood up to screen veterans Jean Gabin and Charles Vanel in Henri Verneuil’s Un Singe en hiver (1962) and Melville’s L’Ainé des Ferchaux (1963), and embodied one of the 20th century’s most daring swindlers in Alain Resnais’s Stavisky (1974).

By the late 1970s, Belmondo had abandoned art house films for action vehicles which shifted the dramatic emphasis from acting talent to acrobat prowess (Belmondo priding himself on being his own stuntman). By the mid-80s his popularity was on the wane, though he made a comeback of sorts in Claude Lelouch’s Itinéraire d’un enfant gaté (1988) and Les Misérables (1995). His other credits include Patrice Leconte’s Half a Chance (1998), Cedric Klapisch’s Peut-être (1999) and Bernard Stora’s made-fortelevision remake of L’Ainé des Ferchaux (2001), in which Belmondo reprised the role played by Charles Vanel in the 1963 version.

Owner of the prestigious Théâtre des Varietés in Paris, Belmondo made his stage comeback in 1987 and has portrayed Edmund Kean, Cyrano and Frédérick Lemaître (the brilliant ham actor of Children of Paradise fame) and starred in two Feydeau revivals. In 1999 and 2001, Belmondo suffered strokes that forced him into retirement. (Souce: Pressbook © 2003, Rialto Pictures LLC).

Jean-Paul Belmondo died on September 6, 2021 in Paris at the age of 88.

Sign up to watch more films! Below is the full Film Festival Schedule:

Friday, September 23, 7:00 pm at La Maison Française at the French Embassy | Une femme est une femme (1961), by Jean-Luc Godard | 84 min | France | in French with English subtitles . Sign up here.

Monday, September 26, 7:00 pm, at AMC Montgomery 16 | A bout de souffle (1960), by Jean-Luc Godard | 90 min | France | in French with English subtitles. Sign up here.

Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 pm, at Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Washington, DC | Le Doulos (1962), by Jean-Pierre Melville 108 min | France | in French with English subtitles. Sign up here.

Friday, September 30, 7:00 pm, at The Ven Hotel at Embassy Raw | Léon Morin, prêtre (1961), by Jean-Pierre Melville | 117 min | France | in French with English subtitles. Sign up here.

Tuesday, October 4, 6:30 pm, at NYU Washington, DC | Pierrot Le Fou (1965), by Jean-Luc Godard |110 min | France | in French with English subtitles. Sign up here.

Thursday, October 6, 6:45 pm, at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center | La Sirène du Mississippi (1969), by François Truffaut |123 min | 35 mm | France | in French with English subtitles. Registration link to come.

Tuesday, October 11, 7:00 pm, at Alliance Française of Washington, Stavisky (1974), by Alain Resnais |117 min | France, Italy | in French. Sign up here.

Friday, October 14, 7:00 pm, at La Maison Française at the French Embassy | Belmondo par Belmondo (2016), by Régis Mardon | 90 min | France | in French with English subtitles. Sign up here.

Belmondo Retrospective: Pierrot Le Fou image