Watch the film that made ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ possible

Let us now take a moment to praise the Criterion Collection. Since 1984, this small company has been restoring and re-releasing some of the world’s best films, complete with excellent, informative booklets and fascinating DVD extras. Its latest is 1965’s Pierrot Le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard’s (arguably) last great New Wave film.

Pierrot Le Fou plays a little like the director’s highlight reel: It stars his frequent on-screen collaborators Jean-Paul Belmondo (A bout de soufflé, or Breathless) and Anna Karina (Vivre sa vie), revisits some of his favorite character types (lovers and criminals), and even resurrects some of the weird bathtub torture from Le Petit Soldat.

But while connecting the Godard dots is fun, the real joy comes from seeing the film’s obvious influence on American filmmaking: One viewing of Pierrot Le Fou and we guarantee you’ll never watch Terrence Malick’s Badlands, Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde, or even Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives the same way again.

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