(1965)5Lucia BozzolaBased on Lionel White's novel Obsession, Jean-Luc Godard's Pierrot le Fou (1965) transforms a story about a couple on the run into an existential romance and an essay on the possibilities of film. With no script, Jean-Paul Belmondo's and Anna Karina's flight to southern France becomes a spontaneous series of incidents that reflect on romance, aesthetics, story-telling, and art as an antidote to alienation. Equating men with the intellect and women with the body, and using the widescreen frame to emphasize the couple's psychic division, Godard unites them in romantic moments and musical numbers, but these gestures cannot prevent their final, explosive separation. Stylized colors and compositions celebrate art for art's sake (even though the colors also carry potential meaning), as in the repetition of the couple's response to a murder in three different shooting styles. Allusions to other films, the brief appearance of Hollywood tough-guy director Samuel Fuller, and references to writers, writing, and painters all emphasize Godard's concern with the meaning of cinema and art, and their place in life. Though not as popular as its predecessor Alphaville (1965), Pierrot le Fou won the Critics' Prize at the 1965 Venice Film Festival, and it was a key precursor to his most radical 1960s film, Weekend (1968).