A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American. Written by
Having made her first few pictures in the classical Hollywood system, Jean Seberg was rattled by Jean-Luc Godard's shooting methods, and there was much tension between them. They also clashed over her character and performance, notably in the scene near the end when Patricia returns to the apartment to tell Michel she has informed on him to the police. According to Raoul Coutard, she and Godard were "at each other's throats" by this point. She wanted to do the scene in an emotional frenzy, whereas he wanted her totally calm and cool. He finally gave in and shot the scene her way, but when it came time to dub it in post, she realized he had been right, so she spoke her lines very low key, which doesn't always match her expressions on screen. Pierre Rissient later said he didn't think Seberg knew what was happening throughout the production and had no idea what kind of film this would be, so she was likely pleasantly surprised at the final product and the success it achieved. See more »
During street shots, countless passersby keep on staring into the camera, revealing the shots to be made without appropriate filming barriers and not using extras for pedestrians. See more »
"If you don't like this film...then you can get stuffed!"
"À Bout de Soufflé" aka "Breathless", was the first full-length film directed by the controversial Jean-Luc Godard, and the first film of his long career that I've had the chance to see so far. "Breathless" is the landmark film of the Nouvelle Vague (New Wave), when young filmmakers such as François Truffaut thrilled the audiences and shocked the Establishment.
Although some people may not be as impressed with "Breathless" structure as they were in 1960, it remains a terrific, breathtaking film experience and has aged wonderfully. Such masterpieces live up to the hype and time, even though they're not as technically impressive as they were 40 years ago, and they're still powerful thanks to what great films consist of: passion. As another user rightfully stated, we have to look at "Breathless" from a historical point: it's different from any other previous film. Godard was truly a visionary and an incredibly talented, passionate "auteur".
"Breathless" plot is rather simple: Michel Poiccard/Laszlo Kovacs (Jean-Paul Belmondo), our anti-hero, is a young criminal on the run from the police, after stealing a car and killing a cop. He has an affair with a beautiful young American, Patricia (Jean Seberg), an aspiring journalist who sells the New York Herald Tribune in the middle of the Champs Élysées (her first scene here was paid a tribute by Eva Green in Bertolucci's "The Dreamers"), and is also expecting Michel's baby. Patricia helps Michel to dodge the police, while they steal cars together in order to raise money for a trip to Rome. But when you want to "vivre dangereusement jusqu'au bout" - or, live dangerously till the end, things may end up not so well.
When you see Belmondo touching his lips, trying to imitate Humphrey Bogart's trade mark, Seberg walking on the Élysées as lovely as a girl can be, the unforgettable final moments...you don't worry about theories on why this is a classic. "À Bout de Soufflé" is Cinema.
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