Breathless (1960)

So I’m a little late on this blog post about Breathless (1960) but here it goes.

This was my second time watching A Bout de Souffle (1960) , also known as Breathless, directed by the incomparable Jean-Luc Godard . The first time I watched it was in a movie club I was a part of in high school a few years ago. I didn’t really pay much attention to it then as I did now. This film is part of the French Nouvelle Vague (New Wave) genre, which dealt with straying away from the classical French cinema style and using more experimential techniques. The director also chooses to use “jump cuts” throughout the film, which can be missed by the blink of an eye.

Aside from all the stylistic techniques, and the storyline itself, I most appreciated the French. I love the French language, and studied it all throughout middle school and high school, so I was able to pick up some of the conversations and idomatic expressions that were said throughout the movie by the film’s protagonists; Michel Poccard (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo) and Patricia Franchini (played by Jean Seberg). Dialogue seems to be really important in the film, something that I really enjoyed. The most memorable conversation, in my opinion, took place in Patricia’s hotel room. Often times it was sexual and playful banter between the two protagonists. It had a light and kind of natural feel to it.

A film like this, that takes it stylistic techniques very seriously, seems to be what paved the way for directors like Quentin Tarantino. There are a number of scenes in his movies where two characters have long conversations, and we the audience are anxiously awaiting for what happens next in the dialogue. I really loved the standout character that was Michel. He was charming yet annoying, cool and rebellious. Did I mention how handsome he looked doing something as mundane as smoking a cigarette? I swear, there was not a moment where I did not see him with a cigarette in his hand. Mind you, I do NOT smoke, but Michel made it look oh-so cool.

This film is historically specific in that it was completely different from other films of the same time period. It paved the way for a new style of filmmaking, one that involved more character development. This film, on the surface, seems to be a typical crime story about a man who is running from the cops and finds a beautiful girl along the way, and asks her to run away with him. However, we discover that Breathless does more than just storytell. It is innovative and avant garde, because we are interested and invested in the characters. Although I may not have wanted to, I also empathized with Michel a bit. All in all, it’s a great French New Wave film. And it really makes me wanna visit Paris one day!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Responses to “Breathless (1960)”

  1.    Tom Schalk Says:

    A good overview of the film. This movie reminded me of a precursor to the “Clerks” movies, since the plot of those films are much less implemented than the dialogue is. The whole thing is driven by a snobby selfish semi-golden-hearted nobody who for some reason I can’t help but love. He’s just hilarious.

  2.    annarodionova Says:

    I definitely felt the same about visiting Paris! Breathless(1960) made me feel very nostalgic, I’ve been to Paris couple times and the film brought the best memories about it. The film was shoot on handheld camera and with no additional lighting. So it really felt like you are part of the story, walking around Paris, and see everything right as it is. All the dialogues are improvised right no the spot and it all felt real. It reminded me of Italian Neorealism and “90 minutes from one’s person life”.

  3.    Francesca Scaturro Says:

    “The most memorable conversation, in my opinion, took place in Patricia‚Äôs hotel room. Often times it was sexual and playful banter between the two protagonists. It had a light and kind of natural feel to it.”

    I really like the way you said taht because thats exactly what I had on my mind but I didn’t have the right words to say it. I think this is why the movie is so relatable to people, because it has a natural feel to it like you said. It feels natural to fall in love with a bad guy, and this is what makes the movie so intriguing. I agree when you say, “I really loved the standout character that was Michel. He was charming yet annoying, cool and rebellious.” I think this is one the main reasons why I enjoyed the movie. His stupid flirtatiousness with Patricia is just so immature, but so relatable because a lot of people have been through this type of childish play.

  4.    cream pemutih wajah Says:

    If some one needs to be updated with newest technologies afterward he must
    be go to see this web site and be up to date daily.

  5.    jabong coupons on shoes 2014 Says:

    jabong coupons on shoes 2014

    MEDST144 – History of Cinema II

Leave a Reply


Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar