Classic Cinema Spotlight: Breathless

A Vintage Nerd Classic Film Review Breathless 1960 Jean Seberg French Films Vintage Blog Movie Recommendation 1960s Films Old Hollywood 1960s

This film has been on my to-watch list for eons. I have already watched Jean-Luc Godard's A Woman is a Woman (1961) and Made in U.S.A. (1966) but Breathless was the one that started it all. Breathless is known for being a part of the French New Wave in cinema as well using a style of editing called jump cuts. It made this film iconic and one of the must see films of the 1960's.

When I first heard of Breathless I knew it was a Godard film, that it was French, and set in the 60's. I also knew about the iconic photos of the late American actress Jean Seberg. You know the ones where she is selling copies of the New York Herald Tribune on the streets of Paris? Other than that I left the rest of the film be a total surprise for me.

Seberg plays Patricia who is an American student who is also an aspiring journalist. She meets with a past fling named Michel (played by Jean-Paul Belmondo) who is a small time criminal who ends up killing a cop. In order to evade the authorities he hides in Patricia's apartment where they hole up for a bit and debate whether or not they could be in love with each other.

The film follows Michel and Patricia as they try to find ways to protect Michel from the inevitable all the while dealing with unexpected personal news. News that alters their relationship and leads them both to an unexpected ending.

It was interesting to see the style of film making that Godard was doing that I would see more developed in his later films. Godard somehow makes his films a blend of art and documentary all while it really being a fictional story. You feel involved with where the story can be taking you and at the end you are always asking yourself, "what just happened?' Godard has that affect on you. 

Seberg's New York Herald Tribune top, her striped dress that she wore at the end of the film, and her pixie haircut are worthy of the iconic status that has been given. Although I have to say that her French was at times a bit cringe worth in some scenes, otherwise she was a delight to watch on screen. My very favorite part of the film are the moments Patricia and Michel are in her bedroom. The talk that they have reveals just how little they really know about each other and yet you can't take your eyes off them because their rapport is so wonderful to watch.

If you'd like to take a peak of some behind the scenes photos from Breathless just scoot on over HERE. Have you seen any Godard films? If so, which are your favorites?

A Vintage Nerd Classic Film Review Breathless 1960 Jean Seberg French Films Vintage Blog Movie Recommendation 1960s Films Old Hollywood 1960s
A Vintage Nerd Classic Film Review Breathless 1960 Jean Seberg French Films Vintage Blog Movie Recommendation 1960s Films Old Hollywood 1960s
A Vintage Nerd Classic Film Review Breathless 1960 Jean Seberg French Films Vintage Blog Movie Recommendation 1960s Films Old Hollywood 1960s
A Vintage Nerd Classic Film Review Breathless 1960 Jean Seberg French Films Vintage Blog Movie Recommendation 1960s Films Old Hollywood 1960s

1 comment

  1. I remember watching this film in a college film class, I was not a fan, but admired the chances it took in its styling, especially with editing.

    ReplyDelete