Wednesday, January 25, 2012

01-20-12: Leaving one Breathless

BREATHLESS (A bout de souffle) (1960) (Unrated) 90 mins. (French with English subtitles) ***1/2 D: Jean-Luc Godard. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Patricia Franchini, Daniel Boulanger.

After shooting a cop, a thief seeks refuge with an American girl he has been seeing.

Godard's first feature is entertaining, charming, stylistic and influential. Considered one of the best of the French New Wave of cinema, this little thriller, if you'd like to call it that, is not so much about the crime but the people themselves. In many films, what Godard does would be considered superfluous as numerous scenes don't really propel the plot. Despite that, you find yourself very engaged by Michel and Patricia and the many misadventures they have throughout.

Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg are great together as the lovers who aren't sure they are lovers yet. Belmondo is smarmy yet likable. Seberg is charming and sweet yet smart and sophisticated. Their banter, especially in the bedroom, is quite amusing.

Godard uses film techniques such as jump cuts and closing irises, things modern audience have become accustomed to. His style helps propel the story forward, despite all the detours and pit stops that occur in the process. It's a very entertaining film that could very well leave you wanting more.

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