There was before Breathless
, and there was after Breathless
. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Jean-Luc Godard's debut was a keen critique of the American film genres that inspired him as a film writer for Cahiers du cinema. Jazzy, free-form, and sexy, Breathless
helped launch the French new wave and ensured cinema would never be the same.
The movie that heralded the French New Wave movement, this lean and exciting 1959 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman Is a Woman
) broke new ground not only in its unorthodox use of editing and hand-held photography, but in its unflinching and nonjudgmental portrayal of amoral youth. Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg play two young lovers on the run from the law after Belmondo kills a cop and steals a car. Soon they are on an odyssey through the streets of Paris searching for some money he is owed so that he and his American girlfriend can escape to Italy. As a chase picture it features some startling photography on the streets of Paris, but as a romance it defies expectations, existing as part tragedy and part Bonnie and Clyde
crime movie. The result is a wholly original film experience. Inspiring not only a remake starring Richard Gere but numerous films and television series, Breathless
is an essential part of motion picture history. --Robert Lane
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.