Watched: July 19 2018
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg
Runtime: 1h 30min
Michel (Belmondo) steals a car and sings and narrates his way towards Paris. The misogynistic crook ends up shooting a cop who catches up with him and is soon wanted all over France.
For such an unlikable man, Michel has a way with the ladies and manages to get some money out of one female friend before moving on to the main object of his desires, American journalism student Patricia (Seberg). He tries to convince her to run away with him while she tries to figure out how she feels about the man she spent a few nights with.
Michel wants to be a tough guy and he models himself on Humphrey Bogart. Patricia is also trying to figure out who she is – perhaps the Bonnie to his Clyde? With the police closing in, they are running out of time and decisions must be made. Who are they really?
Breathless is stylish and artsy, sometimes with a documentary feel to it, while other times it feels more like a romantic comedy or a noir. We love how cool it is, the breaks in the fourth wall, the cuts and close-ups, the opening line and Patricia’s gorgeous stripy clothes (really – she only wears stripes).
It’s definitely a must-see for anyone with even a slight passing interest in French new wave cinema.
What we learned: Don’t fall for someone who generalizes about your gender every time you don’t do what they want.
Next time: Eyes Without a Face (1960)