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October 9, 2010

À bout de souffle (Breathless)





Director - Jean-Luc Godard

Genre - Crime/Drama/Romance/Thriller


Remember when we were in school (well, some of you ARE in school now), how we customized our own files to stamp our personalities and claim ownership? It could be 'Hello Kitty' or 'Thundercats' (we got those as gifts, really!) stickers. No two files are the same. Godard directed his films as if they were his personalized files. 'À bout de souffle', his debut is so full of his own characteristic stamp that it plays like an introductory profile of Godard himself to the world. The story of a devil may care rogue who whilst on the run from the cops still has time and presence of mind to romance a girl feels as spontaneous as can be. Godard chose to take us on the unbeaten path of what a chase movie often feels and looks like. We feel that if he had chosen to make commercial pictures, Godard had all the skills needed. He just refused to do so. His direction was intuitive and unforced, his framing of characters especially the lead actress (Jean Seberg), transfixed and unfaltering. This may well be the moment of birth for modern, independent cinema.

4.5 STARS!

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À bout de souffle (Breathless)

4 comments:

Shubhajit said...

Breathless ranks as not just one of the greatest films ever made, it is also one of the most landmark movies in the history of world cinema. Further, as you noted, it introduced to the world the iconoclastic genius of Godard.

On a more personal note, it also happens to be one of my favourites too. So much so that, I feel you have given the film half-a-star less than what it actually deserves :)

Very well written as always... especially loved your introductory lines.

1minutefilmreview said...

We were surprised that we actually liked it. But having experienced his mad skills, we're looking forward to watch his other films. We've read that his movie-making style changed in time. How true is that? Did he have misses as well coupled with his hits? Can you recommend to us other pictures of his that you have watched?

Thank you for the compliment, buddy. Oh, and enjoy your studies. ;)

Jazz Pancake said...

One of my favorite films, and one that for me improves with each viewings. Its the film that introduced me to french cinema. If you like pulp fiction too check out Godards other film 'A Bande Apart".

I'd also be interested to see what you think on 'Chungking Express', another favorite of mine. if you haven't seen it, its a wonderful chinese film that is clearly influenced from french new wave films. If you not seen it give it a watch.

Lewis Wood (Jazz Pancake)

Lewis Wood (Jazz Pancake)
http://filmodyssee.blogspot.com/

1minutefilmreview said...

Oh dang we haven't watched that yet. We read Tarantino's company is named after that movie.

Actually we already watched 'Chungking Express' a long, long time ago but it is only after watching 'Breathless' that we see the obvious French new wave influence.

Thanks for dropping by Lewis and we'll heed your advice in tracking down a copy of 'A Bande Apart'.

From the little that we've seen so far, we believe what set Godard apart from other directors of his era was his audacity. He didn't give a damn about doing it to please the masses, did he? He did it for the love of cinema and for cinema-lovers. Those who preferred to be numbed by ordinary movies need not apply. This is a quality we wish more directors would embody.