French auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature length debut, Breathless (Ã bout de souffle) heralded the true arrival of the French New Wave in 1960. Now considered a classic of the genre, it is just as audacious and dazzling a film today, over half a century on. Cool cat Jean Paul Belmondo is Michel, a petty criminal inspired by Humphrey Bogart whose reckless taste for violence lands him with a dead policeman on his hands. On the run from the law, he holes up with his American girlfriend Patricia (Jean Seberg), who is studying journalism at the Sorbonne. As they plan an escape to Italy, talk about American culture and lie around on the bed looking irrefutably cool, the police start to close in and tensions increase.
Why You Should See This Film
A landmark of European cinema history, Breathless has all the style, wit and breezy jazziness you can possibly handle (trust us). Godard changed filmmaking forever with his bold editing and guerrilla shooting style. An homage to the American genre films he was so interested in, this is one of the absolute, very best. A bold, risky beauty that is as “important” and “worthy” as it is endlessly compelling. A must.
- Year: 1960
- Rating: PG
- Director: Jean-Luc Godard
- Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg
- Duration: 90 minutes
- Language: French with English subtitles