Academics have a lot of interesting things to say about this film: and so did Godard, who said he thought he was making Scarface but was really making Alice in Wonderland. I like the French eroticism lurking constantly in everyday life, and I like the female lead, who was gorgeous. You can even see how it influenced other movies, but when I need academics to make me appreciate the thin crime plot, it's not working.
>>> Premier long métrage de Jean-Luc Godard qui symbolise encore aujourd'hui la naissance de cette fameuse "nouvelle vague" du cinéma français, qui révèle un metteur en scène essentiel et qui reçut en 1960 le Prix Jean Vigo pour la richesse et la nouveauté de son style cinématographique... www.cinefiches.com
3-4. I have such complicated feelings about this film. The leads immerse you in a dynamic composed of about a thousand interesting ideas dispersed in an incredibly mellow, yet visceral way. I think that's a fair tonal descriptor; the jazz lends it a smooth, warm energy, while the editing and grain give it significant visual edge. But the plot is aimless, probably a bit too simple, etc. Still, it's a great idea soak.
The first film of French New Wave I watched, and the one that befittingly got me hooked on the genre. I adore everything about this film - the acting, the tension, the Parisian setting. Most of all though, I love the cinematography of Á bout de souffle. The scene with Jean Seberg hawking copies of the New York Herald Tribune, with Jean-Paul Belmondo shadowing her? Unforgettable, and instantly recognisable.
Michel may be out of breath, but it's Patricia who's out of her depth as the feckless hipster who - insouciantly, natch - smokes her way around freewheelin' Paris and falls for the Gallic charm and Gaulloises stench of a narcissistic cop killer. They both realise the error of their ways too late, as Godard jump cuts his shopping trolley camera through Paris' boulevards and into film history.