Breathless (A Bout de Souffle)

Movie Information

In Brief: Breathless marks the start of French New Wave cinema, and regardless of how one feels about Jean-Luc Godard’s later, less accessible works, it would be hard to find a more audacious debut feature. The problem today's audiences have with it is that so much of what was fresh and revolutionary in 1960 has been assimilated into the standard vocabulary of filmmaking that the enormity of its accomplishments are be easily overlooked. In many ways, Godard's approach was a reaction to the standard idea of a well-crafted film. His results electrified and changed the world of film — along with making a star of Jean-Paul Belmondo for his portrayal of the cheerfully amoral thief turned murderer, who idolizes and emulates Bogart. (It will always be as much a film about movies and the impact of movies as it is a narrative work.) It’s interesting to look at Belmondo's ultra-cool performance today, because it now looks less like coolness than like someone desperately trying to be cool, which, I suspect was Godard’s real point all along. This excerpt was drawn from a review by Ken Hanke published on Dec. 13, 2006.
Genre: Crime Drama
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville
Rated: NR

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Breathless on Friday, Dec. 16, at 8 p.m. at Flood Gallery Fine Art Center, 2160 Hwy 70, Swannanoa.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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