There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, crackling personalities of rising stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, and anything-goes crime narrative, Jean-Luc Godard’s debut fashioned a simultaneous homage to and critique of the American film genres that influenced and rocked him as a film writer for Cahiers du cinema. Jazzy, free-form, and sexy, Breathless (A bout de souffle) helped launch the French new wave and ensured cinema would never be the same. —The Criterion Collection
The lynchpin of the French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard was arguably the most influential filmmaker of the postwar era. Beginning with his groundbreaking 1959 feature debut A Bout de Souffle, Godard revolutionized the motion picture form, freeing the medium from the shackles of its long-accepted cinematic language by rewriting the rules of narrative, continuity, sound, and camera work. Later in his career, he also challenged the common means of feature production, distribution, and exhibition, all in an effort to subvert the conventions of the Hollywood formula to create a new kind of film.
Godard was born in Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children. After receiving his primary education in Nyon, Switzerland – during World War II, he became a naturalized Swiss citizen – he studied ethnology at the Sorbonne, but spent the vast majority of his days at the Cine-Club du Quartier Latin, where he first met fellow film fanatics Francois Truffaut and Jacques Rivette. In May… read more
CC#408: Initially riffing on a previous trailblazer in Elevator to the Gallows, Breathless’ own pulpy quality is derived entirely from its roughened energy, with a youthful cockiness in Belmondo, a pixieish charm in Seberg and both the guerrilla filmmaking and utter cheek of Godard. As a result, much of its narrative could be regarded as fluff, or even sloppy by usual standards, but there’s also a levity in its irreverent style and a purity in its casual, now iconic framing that’s difficult for a cinephile to resist - much less in such a seminal incarnation.
A smorgasbord of Godard posters on occasion of a major retrospective in New York.
Hints of a filmmaking conspiracy.
"It wasn't until I sat down and re-watched Breathless — in a beautifully restored new 35mm print — that I remembered that its sleek surface
"An anniversary present for the new wave — tied to the upcoming 50th-birthday screenings of Breathless — Two in the Wave gives the gift
Above: Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Paul Belmondo in Jean-Pierre Melville's Léon Morin, Priest. Image courtesy Rialto Pictures. Father the French
Um marco no cinema moderno.
Este é o meu primeiro Godard, e logo um dos que melhor classificam a chamada Nouvelle Vague, uma vaga cinematográfica que nascera em Fran… read review
Breathless/À bout de souffle 1960
Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo carry this frenetic episode in the life of a petty criminal and anchor it firmly with their original personalities… read review
‘Breathless’ is a litmus test film if ever there was one, I came to it in my mid-20’s and didn’t get it at all, by my late ’30’s I could see it was a masterpiece. My entree to appreciating it was the… read review