Breathless

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Plus those two characters are just too fucking cool. I've heard so much about Godard and was really excited to jump in and check out what is probably his most popular film.

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There are really cool stylistic things he does here with the editing and there are some cool shots like the one through the poster. The score was great and I loved the recurring musical themes. The story is pretty much split into two: the first part is a compelling story about a man on the run from the law who's trying to escape France.

Jean-Paul Belmondo

The second part is that same man being shitty, rude, and manipulative to an American woman he's just met. Godard seems WAY more…. Breathless, his first feature film behind the camera stands as an icon for this change in cinema lore.


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To me, it was a dull film filled with techniques that while new, only made the movie worse. Sharp jump-cuts and edits mid conversation that serve nothing but to disorient the viewer, a foreign language speaker who I am convinced didn't know the words she was saying, improv style dialogue with no filter between brain and spoken word, breaking the 4th wall and looking straight into the camera.

All things wildly unnecessary and yet heavily praised for how inventive…. I get it, this was very innovative for the time and I can see how it influenced someone like Tarantino's approach to storytelling. That being said, it failed to connect with me completely. I understand the usage of jump-cutting in driving scenes but there's also a lot of erratic cuts that happen in scenes like a conversation at a table and it feels unnecessary and jarring.

breathless

The ending scene is iconic I guess, and the line "Makes me want to puke" sums up my experience with this film perfectly. Hopefully Godard's later films will jive with me. This was disappointing.

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I was excited to watch my first Godard movie, as well as getting into more of the French New Wave after loving the Blows and Eyes Without a Face that one is debatable I know , but after finishing it, I was left very cold by this movie. I am aware he is a difficult director. At first I find the gleeful rebellion of the film to be pretty infectious. But around the 30 to 45 minute mark as I continued to watch Michel and Patricia talking about life and love, the more I felt….

It was during the extended scene in the hotel room that I began actively disliking this movie, and it never recovered. The vapid conversation with occasional chauvinistic platitudes dropped in gets annoying quickly and is completely uninteresting.


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  • ALMOST GUILTY.
  • Review by Not Armond White. But Belmondo at 26 still had a little of the adolescent in him, and the first time we see him, his hat and even his cigarette seem too big for his face. He was "hypnotically ugly," Bosley Crowther wrote in his agitated New York Times review, but that did not prevent him from becoming the biggest French star between Jean Gabin and Gerard Depardieu. Seberg was restarting her career after its disastrous launch in America.

    ‎Breathless () directed by Jean-Luc Godard • Reviews, film + cast • Letterboxd

    Otto Preminger staged a famous talent search for the star of his "Saint Joan" , and cast an inexperienced year-old Marshalltown, Iowa, girl; Seberg received terrible reviews, not entirely deserved, and more bad notices for "Bonjour Tristesse" , which Preminger made next to prove himself right. She fled to Europe, where she was only 21 when Godard cast her for "Breathless. Her Patricia is the great enigma of the movie. Michel we can more or less read at sight: He postures as a gangster, maintains a cool facade, is frightened underneath.

    His persona is a performance that functions to conceal his desperation. But what about Patricia? Somehow it is never as important as it should be that she thinks she is pregnant, and that Michel is the father. She receives startling items of information about Michel that he is a killer, that he is married, that he has more than one name with such apparent detachment that we study that perfectly molded gamin face and wonder what she can possibly be thinking.

    Even her betrayal of him turns out to be not about Michel, and not about right and wrong, but only a test she sets for herself to determine if she loves him or not. It is remarkable that the reviews of this movie do not describe her as a monster--more evil, because she's less deluded, than Michel.

    The filming of "Breathless" has gathered about it a body of legend. It was one of the key films of the French New Wave, which rejected the well-made traditional French cinema and embraced a rougher, more experimental personal style. Many of the New Wave directors began as critics for the anti-establishment magazine Cahiers du Cinema. The credits for "Breathless" are a New Wave roll call, including not only Godard's direction but an original story by Francois Truffaut Godard famously wrote each day's shooting script in the morning.

    Claude Chabrol is production designer and technical adviser, the writer Pierre Boulanger plays the police inspector, and there are small roles for Truffaut and Godard himself as the informer. Everyone was at the party; the assistant director was Pierre Rissient, who wears so many hats he is most simply described as knowing more people in the cinema than any other single person.

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    Jean-Pierre Melville , whose own crime movies in the s pointed the way to the New Wave, plays the writer interviewed by Patricia at Orly, where he expounds on life and sex "Two things are important in life. For men, women. For women, money". Melville's " Bob le Flambeur " is referenced when we meet the man who informed on Bob, or when Michel tells a friend, "Bob the gambler would have cashed my check.

    One inside joke in the film is always mentioned, but is not really there. Michel's alias is " Laszlo Kovacs ," and countless writers inform us this is a reference to the legendary Hungarian cinematographer. In fact, Godard had not met Kovacs at the time, and the reference is to the character Belmondo played in Chabrol's "A Double Tour" In a film with so many references to the past of the cinema, it is amusing to find a coincidental reference to its future. Godard's key collaborator on the film was the cinematographer Raoul Coutard , who worked with him many times, notably on " Weekend " It was only Coutard's fourth film, and his methods became legend: How when they could not afford tracks for a tracking shot, he held the camera and had himself pushed in a wheelchair.

    How he achieved a grainy look that influenced many other fiction films that wanted to seem realistic. How he scorned fancy lighting. How he used hand-held techniques even before lightweight cameras were available. How he timed one shot of Belmondo so that the streetlights on the Champs Elysses came on behind him. There is a lovely backlit shot of Belmondo in bed and Seberg sitting beside the bed, both smoking, the light from the window enveloping them in a cloud. That's from a long scene that's alive with freshness and spontaneity.

    Patricia returns home to find Michel in her bed, and they talk, flirt, smoke, fight, finally make love. She quotes Faulkner: "Between grief and nothing, I will take grief.