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Breathless

Breathless(1961)

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  • WTF

    • Dennis
    • 11/5/13

    I know that you're supposed to suspend disbelief when watching some films but . . .The basic premise is flawed: how do the police have any idea who did the killing? It was a stolen car and there were no witnesses to the crime.I can't bring myself to go back and write down specific quotes, but some of the stuff Patricia says is maddeningly, laughingly insipid and just stupid. "Hipster doofus" nonsense before "hipster doofus" was a term. Godard was writing as he went along and it shows. How Seberg kept a straight face is a mystery. Really, some of her blathering made me sit up and say, "WTF."Other head-scratchers:Where were the cops running to after the interview with Patricia? They had no idea how long it had been since Patricia had seen Michel.Perhaps the franc was way different back in 1960--How could Michael get 800,000 (yes, 800 thousand) francs for the stolen car he was selling?Iconic last scene? Iconically ridiculous. Cop shoots him from maybe 50 feet away. And then they don't pursue him--just let him stagger down the street for like 5 minutes. Maybe it wasn't 5. Go back and time it--seems like it was.And then Patricia just runs and stands over him--unlike any other member of the human race--who upon seeing someone whom they cared about injured would get down and kneel beside him.And what was the rubbing the top lip thing with Michel? Did Bogart do that in one of his movies?Michel's "identification" with Bogart makes no sense. Bogart usually plays the good guy (as in "Harder They Fall" referenced in the movie) with nothing at all in common with a self-absorbed, petty car thief and murderer.Was Godard drunk as he was writing this movie "on the fly" and perhaps confused Bogart with Cagney?Finally, such comical praise for "jump cuts" by "movie experts." Turns out, the movie was 30 minutes too long and Godard had to take a hatchet to it. And the hatchet work is noticeably annoying.Over-rated French "merde" for movie snobs.

  • Breathless

    • John
    • 8/5/13

    Overall-4 1/2 out of 5Lead Performers-4/5Supporting Cast-4/5Director-5/5Screenplay-4/5Cinematography-5/5Importance-5/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-4/5

  • What is puke?

    • noodles
    • 6/20/13

    Jean-Luc Godard's first film seems to have a strong Ed Wood influence. Is a jump cut a euphemism for choppy editing? Jean Seberg is beautiful, but an average actor, even in French. This is Belmondo's movie, and he carries the ball, so to speak. In the final death scene, Belmondo staggers his way into the end-zone (street crossing) before collapsing, drawing a sarcastic "Touch-Down!" from this viewer. The movie seems to have been financed by either the tobacco industry or the Paris Chamber of Commerce as it at first appears to be a travelogue. Nowadays the out-door scenes come over as a time capsule of Paris in 1960. The film techniques used here were important, but the movie was flawed.

  • "Better rusted than busted"

    • Jeff Boston
    • 6/13/13

    Unique film that works as a running "post card" of Paris. The jump cuts worked - some of the time (quite annoying due to overuse). "Breathless" also has some great camera angles, but the story is depressingly degenerate. Seberg, with her pixie cut (Mia Farrow before Mia Farrow) and the chain smoking, shades-wearing French male (definitely not a "man") make for an interesting pair, which plays up the sympathy for the male. This is a "masterpiece" for those with misplaced priorities, for it clearly glamourizes a miserable miscreant as if he were just a misunderstood misfit. Bogart, had he been alive at the time, would have been hurt by the fact that his screen persona inspired emulation by such a character. No matter how much "culture" is forced into this flick, it epitomizes style over substance emptiness.

  • It was good, but didn't leave me "Breathless"

    • Natacha
    • 6/9/13

    Being somewhat cynical and not in love with all things French, and having the reviews before I saw the film, I was prepared not to like it, but I did. I had a Red Box video to watch, but stayed with "Breathless"to the end. You have to put this film in context of when it was made and similar films of the period --it was made in 1959, before the Beatles and the 1960's cultural changes, which it presaged with the casual attitudes against authority and traditional sexual mores and basic honesty. Belmondo is a happy-go-lucky criminal with no redeeming value other than his love for the beautiful Jean Seberg, an American student working for an American newspaper published in Paris. Belmondo is a thief of cars, money, and respect, and after killing a policeman who caught up with him driving a stolen car, planned to escape to Italy, but he couldn't leave Seberg behind. She is unaware that he is a thief and liar until the end of the film, when it is also revealed that she is pregnant with his child. I won't spoil the ending, but, as usual, things did not go well. Another contextual thing is his absolutely constant smoking--frequently lighting up a new smoke with the old one. He was even smoking while dying. Thinking about how bad he, his clothes and his breath smelled because of constant smoking spoiled the love scenes, for me at least, but at that time, most adults smoked. I was surprised to read he is still alive, given his heavy smoking. Anyway, this film is worth watching, if for no other reason that to get a taste of New Age French Cinema. The lovely Jean Seberg was found dead of a drug overdose in a car at age 40, after a turbulent life made worse by the American FBI that planted false stories about her to ruin her credibility because she supported the Black Panthers. This film gives you a chance to see her when she was fresh and young.

  • Really good

    • Caitlyn
    • 6/8/13

    I'm not really into these types of films but after watching it for a few minutes it began to get really interesting . Great movie .

  • Surely you jest

    • Brad
    • 11/10/12

    I watch Breathless after hearing Robert Osborne talk about it. I'm not adverse to black and white or foreign films with subtitles, but I must say this is among the worst movies I have ever watched. It had no social redeeming value, the plot seemed like they made it up on the fly, and the only thing worse than the acting was the music. I've read why everyone thinks this is a classic. Sorry, I couldn't disagree more.

  • style over substance

    • Arbogast
    • 11/8/12

    Agree with Dean to an extent. The dialogue is improvised (sometimes pretentious), set ups are random, but here is Godard breaking the rules of classic cinema, re-inventing the language of film, spitting in the face of conventionalism, and inspiring a new generation of filmmakers. Not bad for a first film.

  • Breathless

    • Jim
    • 11/8/12

    Outstanding film. Jean Seberg certainly has a presence about her. Would like to see this again.

  • Classicly bad; amateurish example of a genre

    • Dean444
    • 11/8/12

    It completely astonishes me that anyone could find this movie entertaining, or that anyone would ever recommend this French film. I suspect it's because some Americans have an innate need to glorify anything French. What some people try to call "new wave" actually translates to amateurish and clumsy efforts at everything, from the direction to the dialog. New wave must mean "film class project" en francais, because that is the quality of production in this movie. I have seen nearly every American, and several French, film noirs, and a good film noir this is NOT. A bad movie is just a bad movie, in any language. First of all, the dialog is boring and frequently pointless. Conversations are seemingly random and unconnected. Did I mention it was boring? There is no tension in the movie, nothing to keep your interest. The cinematography is a joke. The scene in the street where the two stars first meet (Seberg & Belmondo) looks like it was filmed by a dad on vacation. Everything about this film screams cheaply made. Scenes are poorly edited. The lunch between Seberg and her editor looks more like it was filmed in claymation than using live actors. A good film is supposed to tell a story, and this one doesn't, not until perhaps the end. But then it's more of a moral to the story as is typical of French films, more than anything else. There are also major gaps in the film: too many things are never explained but yet are central to the motivation of the characters. If this is a classic film, then it is a classic of a bad example of a genre.

  • Classic amateurism

    • Dean444
    • 11/8/12

    It completely astonishes me that anyone could find this movie entertaining, or that anyone would ever recommend this French film. I suspect it's because some Americans have an innate need to glorify anything French. What some people try to call "new wave" actually translates to amateurish and clumsy efforts at everything, from the direction to the dialog. New wave must mean "film class project" en francais, because that is the quality of production in this movie. I have seen nearly every American, and several French, film noirs, and a good film noir this is NOT. A bad movie is just a bad movie, in any language. First of all, the dialog is boring and frequently pointless. Conversations are seemingly random and unconnected. Did I mention it was boring? There is no tension in the movie, nothing to keep your interest. The cinematography is a joke. The scene in the street where the two stars first meet (Seberg & Belmondo) looks like it was filmed by a dad on vacation. Everything about this film screams cheaply made. Scenes are poorly edited. The lunch between Seberg and her editor looks more like it was filmed in claymation than using live actors. A good film is supposed to tell a story, and this one doesn't, not until perhaps the end. But then it's more of a moral to the story as is typical of French films, more than anything else. There are also major gaps in the film: too many things are never explained but yet are central to the motivation of the characters. If this is a classic film, then it is a classic of a bad example of a genre.

  • Breathless

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 10/20/12

    The film that sparked the French New wave. Humphrey Bogart- like hood, Belmando, steals a car & shoots a cop, hoping to leave the country with his girlfriend, Seberg. The two leads treat love like a joke and posses both affection & angst towards each other. This is a free-form, romantic thriller that spoke with the postwar youths. A terrific, unforgettable picture that set the standards for "modern movies." I give it a 5/5.

  • A Bout de Souffle

    • Mike
    • 2/10/11

    In the Monogram style of a movie as a living organism, this revived the theatrical medium after its eclipse by TV.------------------------------------Submitted by: Mike

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