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Criterion Collection: Breathless [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)

Jean-Paul Belmondo , Jean Seberg , Jean-Luc Godard    Blu-ray
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Criterion Collection: Breathless [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) + Criterion Collection: Persona [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

Special Features

Restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Archival interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville Contemporary interviews with Coutard, assistant director Pierre Rissient, and filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker Two video essays, one on Seberg and one on Breathless as film criticism Chambre 12, Hôtel de suède, an eighty-minute 1993 documentary about the making of Breathless Charlotte et son Jules, a 1959 short by Godard starring Belmondo Trailer One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Dudley Andrew, writings by Godard, François Truffaut’s original treatment, and Godard’s scenario

Product Description

There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard (Band of Outsiders) burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinéma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE IT May 20 2014
Verified Purchase
Godard never fails to impress! The film is very moving! Great and fast delivery too! One amazing film that is a must-see by everyone.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Horrid new Criterion packaging! May 13 2014
By BMLFW
Verified Purchase
Criterion, long a fave for videophiles and movie buffs, could until now do no wrong... and then they decided to use the most ridiculous packaging imaginable for these "dual format" editions - the DVD hovers just millimetres over the retention spindle for the disc below it, and all 5 titles I've bought with this issue have very badly damaged DVDs. (And the less said about the conditions of the otherwise awesome, thick booklets that accompany Criterion editions being shoved into this little case, the better.)

Not to mention that this is essentially videophile bloatware - DVDs that no film fan I know of even cares about any more, shoved into a case with the perfection that is Blu-ray.

I understand why Criterion has decided on the dual-format sets, I just hate the method they've used to deliver them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too dated to truly amaze, but still an entertaining and memorable film June 10 2014
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
A key film of the late Fifties/early Sixties French New Wave, À BOUT DE SOUFFLE (Breathless) opens with suave lowlife Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo) stealing a car. When he's caught speeding on the way to Paris and pursued by the police, Michel kills the officer. Desperate to collect some money owed and make his escape to Italy, he hides out with Patricia (Jean Seberg), an American girl he had slept with once and who is oblivious to the danger he's in.

This is one of the most influential films of all time in its liberal use of jump cuts, in idolizing American noir films and transferring that aesthetic to a foreign country, and its allusions to other films and even self-referentially to itself. Goddard left plenty of signs that he was seeking to overturn the staid French mainstream tradition, such as when Michel rebuffs a hawker selling "Cahiers du cinema" (the French film magazine), or when Patricia interviews a film director named Parvulesco, who is none other than Godard's New Wave comrade-in-arms Jean-Pierre Melville.

À BOUT DE SOUFFLE is undeniably dated. Even knowing all that context around its creation and reception, I found it hard to be really bowled over and cannot award the film a full five stars. Still, there's a lot to like. I'm particularly fond of the film's dialogue, which revels in French slang that hitherto had not been consider "proper" for art, most of which goes over Patricia's head and some of which Michel explains. In that sense one might compare the film to Raymond Queneau's novel "Zazie dans le métro" from the same time. Criterion's English subtitles deal with it not through literal translations but by trying to find analogous English slang. The sexual frankness of its young characters might surprise younger viewers who would place this social upheaval to later in the 1960s.

I watched Criterion's one-disc DVD version of the film, missing out on the extras that came with the two-disc DVD edition or the Blu-ray. While customers today might want to go straight for the Blu-ray, those buying from the used market for cheap need not pass up the DVD, as the transfer isn't bad at all.
0 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ABOUT A SOUFLE July 5 2014
By GCD - Published on Amazon.com
when the French make films as ggod as this one you just know it has to be as good/bad as the others. here we go again with jump cuts and male, female extravagance looslely eptinomised through years observance to fashion. that's not to denigrate the misuse of acting, of dialogue, other things etcetera. what is remarkable is the use of mirage and subtle observation/observance. let's see how it feels.
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