Tag Archives: Jean Seberg

Breathless



After shooting a cop, young thief Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) meets and shacks up with Patricia (Jean Seberg), an American who sells the International Herald Tribune on the streets of Paris. Hiding out in her hotel room, Michel tries to talk Patricia into going with him to Italy. But she doesn’t know that would include a foray into criminal life. Director Jean-Luc Godard shot to cinematic stardom with this benchmark film of the French new wave.\

Brian
Rating: 10 out of 10

Jean Luc Godard was one of the founders of the French New Wave movement. He and several other French directors strove to move away from standard filmmaking conventions and break the rules. If it weren’t for directors like Godard, we would have no Tarnatino, no Bertolucci, and no Von Trier. Godard, like Tarantino and others, used his love of movies and incorporated them into his own work. Several techniques were used within Breathless that were considered taboo but are commonplace in today’s cinema. For example, jump cuts. Before Breathless, a jump cut was considered an error in the editing process but Godard uses it to great effect to weave his tale. He also broke away from the standard storytelling process and made it more about mood, style, and dialogue. While films that fell within the crime genre before it were about the gunfight or the explosion, Breathless is about the interaction and dialogue of the characters. The events surrounding them are just a backdrop to see what they’ll say next. It broke every moviemaking and writing technique before it and it did it so well that its influence is still being shared among directors today.

 I’ll be the first to admit that Breathless is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some may find its lack of story a weakness or the beautiful handheld cinematography old hat. But, if you watch it with an open mind and a realization of what came before it, I think you’ll get wrapped up in just how revolutionary a piece of work it truly is.