Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
À bout de souffle (1960)
A man steals a car in Marseilles and drives it to Paris. On his way, Michel is stopped for speeding and shoots a policeman.
In Paris, he needs to collect some money from a friend and meet an American girl who he seems to like. One third of the movie is shot in Patricia's hotel room, while Michel tries to convince her to sleep with him and to run away with him to Italy. He convinces her of the former, but when the latter becomes a definite possibility, she turns him in to the police. Instead of running away, he decides to wait for the police and go to prison. However, when the police arrives, a friend of Michel's throws him a gun in a last attempt to save him. The police panics and shoots him. The film is shot in black and white with a hand held camera.
There are four interrelated facts about Godard and his film that make a new historical outlook ideal. First, Godard was extremely aware of his medium's connection to other modes of expression, especially literature, philosophy and painting; and his style included a conscious attempt to demonstrate this interconnectedness.
"The cinema is not a craft. It is an art . . . One is always alone on the set as before the blank page." Godard saw himself as an author and wanted to integrate his literary influences into his film. Furthermore, in wanting to break away from the rules of film making, he made his connection with literature as obvious as possible: Breathless is filled with direct quotes from authors like Faulkner, Dylan Thomas and Rainer Maria Rilke, among others.
Probably the most striking feature of Breathless is its cinematographic style. The lives and thoughts of the characters are echoed by the camera movements and editing innovations Godard has made. Of these, the most important are the jump cut and the quick cut. Godard invented the technique of cutting out a few feet of film in seemingly random places. This "jump cut" produces a rhythmic, unsettling pulse in certain scenes. Michel is seen lying in Patricia's bed, and in the next he is walking out of the bathroom.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Breathless is the way the story line and the filming style come together to make a coherent philosophical statement. The primary question is, why is it that although Michel is an unambitious, untalented, immoral punk, the audience is able to ignore these traits and sympathize with him? The answer lies in the fact that everything Michel does is done with an extraordinary style. He is open, flamboyant, and cheerful and his actions, however meaningless or amoral, reflect this attitude. "You must never break," Michel says to the audience while driving his stolen car in the opening scenes of the film. In another scene, there is a poster which says, "live life dangerously to the end." This reminds one of Nietzsche's advice as given in the Gay Science, This style possessed by Michel would not be enough if Godard hadn't shown everyone else in the film as lacking even this. There are basically three types of people in the film: the masses, who are like apathetic, unaware zombies (for example, a man is hit by a car, and people hardly notice; Michel runs down the street after being shot, and hardly a head turns.); there is one attractive hard working character, and Michel takes advantage of her by stealing her money, and there are two serious and committed characters, the police, and they are made to look absolutely ridiculous.
Godard shows us a world that is immoral, senseless and empty. Everything lacks a reason. "Why do you want to make love to me?" asks Patricia in the bedroom scene. "Because you're beautiful" "but I'm not beautiful" "OK, then because you're ugly" Michel is the only character who is able to recognize and take advantage of the situation by being amoral and uncommitted with passion and cheerfulness. He is sensitive to his environment. He likes the sun, he likes France, and he is depressed by ugly architecture. Of course he is egotistical, but according to the Nietzschean view of a meaningless world, this is a good thing. Michel takes advantage of the lack of dictated meaning to create his own meaning and "create poetry from nothingness." He invents his life and his past as he goes along. He claims that his grandfather drove a Rolls, he says he can only stay at the Claridge (a very expensive hotel), he says his father was a clarinetist, among other stories. Michel isn't caught up in the seriousness of searching for meaning. Furthermore, he is unafraid of the ultimate nothingness: death. The omnipresent end of life just makes his present actions more poignant and intense. And since all has equal seriousness, all is permitted! The next question is why is Michel so attracted to Patricia. She represents a negative version of himself. However, unlike Michel, she is unable to throw herself into the nothingness. She falls in love with him at the moment she learns he's a murderer, for only then does the impossibility of permanence become evident, and when the escape to Italy seems plausible, she turns him in to the police. Breathless is an attempt to show life as it is when one has repudiated a false morality and succeeded in living cheerfully without ultimate reason.
Today, fortunately or not, we are less easily shocked by the message of present day films with similar immoral themes (Natural Born Killers and Pulp Fiction come to mind). Who knows, maybe Nietzsche was right. . .
Elegy with an odd, volatile atmosphere in lyricism almost surreal
This film seemingly chronicles the exploits of a Casanova in the early years of the 20th century. Sensual Szindbad (Zoltan Latinovitz) leaves behind broken hearts and fond memories when he moves from one woman to another. Some of them, overwhelmed by their tragic attachment, seek to have him join them in a suicide pact, others carelessly toss their lives away. He remains fundamentally untouched, but he finally gets his comeuppance - he is dying Krúdy, Huszárik and Latinovits's Szinbad is a film elegy with an odd, volatile atmosphere in lyricism almost surreal. Krúdy(the writer) is identified in the film as Szinbád. He's looking for the meaning of life, eternity on the ship of memories - preoccupied in the beauties of nature, music, nice women, girl's hair, strokes, sensitive walks, tearful hours, grievous farewells. The attracted women offer lasting love, and for that very reason he he proceeds to the upcoming in wonderful colours of life and resignation generative passing, death.
It is an amusing comedy about Hrabal's parents
This film is a comedy about how the writer Hrabal was born. The movie takes
place in a small town where Hrabal's father is in charge of a brewery.
The blessing and at the same time the bane of his life is his wonderful wife.
Blessing, because she is not only beautiful but she is resourceful and
intelligent and lively, bane all other man in the little town man would like to get
to know her better. The story is a kind of nostalgia, but is still
amusing tale, with not much tension and thriller, but still worth to watch
(If you have a good copy of it...)
At a time I think in the eighties the film won a some prize in a Film Festival, in Europe