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Thread: Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless

  1. #1
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless

    Gave this a watch last night for the first time, probably, since I was in college. That was a long time ago. I think I forgot more about it than I remembered but I remembered that it was cool and that memory proved accurate. Belmondo is fantastic in this. That opening line, 'I am an asshole,' completely rings true through the entire film - he really is an asshole - but you can't help but like the guy. He's funny without being comedic, quirky without being annoying (at least as a character, I think in real life I'd probably want to punch him) and suave in a way that somehow isn't suave at all. He and super cute Jean Seberg have an unorthodox chemistry but somehow make a great pair.

    At 90 minutes it's just the right length for a movie like this. The barrage of references to old American films, noir pictures in particular but also westerns, and the dedication to Monogram Pictures at the beginning, clearly show where Godard's influences stem from yet this is a very French film in so many ways, not just the Parisian locations but the tone, the pace and the style, not to mention Seberg's American character constantly asking Michel to clarify to her the term's he is using in French so that she can better understand him.

    Anyway, this holds up well. October is usually horror movie month and for good reason but I'm glad I took the time to revisit this one, because I think I got more out of this as an adult than I did as a college kid.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Mark Tolch's Avatar
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    Not really familiar with Godard, but a ton of his stuff is on the Criterion Channel. Ill check it out when time permits.

  3. #3
    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    Still one of the coolest films ever made. I wrewatched this last year and was similarly impressed at how well it holds up. It STILL feels fresh and new. That idea of just stripping everything back and following a couple charismatic people with a camera and trusting it will be good was totally out there at the time and feels more so now. That said I can barely stand anything else Godard did.
    "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

  4. #4
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    I'm not a super Godard expert or anything but I did order Pierrot Le Fou based on how much I liked Breathless (I figure he and Belmondo are a good combo).

    I do really like Alphaville quite a bit and enjoyed Masculin Feminine when I saw it a long time ago.

    Those might be the only ones I've seen?
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  5. #5
    I picked up the German mediabook of the remake for peanuts. It comes with the original as a bonus disc, so I need to give it a spin. I've not seen much Goddard, but I did enjoy Bande à part.
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  6. #6
    Girl Boss Jane Alison Jane's Avatar
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    I really liked it a lot. Interested to see other films of his. I like films that don't seem to be about much. This was kinda like sophisticated Warhol.
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  7. #7
    Fun fact, the guy that gets his car stolen is José Bénazéraf. It was his actual car, too.

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jane View Post
    I'm not a super Godard expert or anything but I did order Pierrot Le Fou based on how much I liked Breathless (I figure he and Belmondo are a good combo).

    I do really like Alphaville quite a bit and enjoyed Masculin Feminine when I saw it a long time ago.

    Those might be the only ones I've seen?
    Pierrot Le Fou is a good choice. Really all of his Anna Karina films are essential, but Pierrot and Band of Outsiders are probably my favorites. Contempt is must see as well, but definitely import that one. The US release had an authoring error that causes it to skip and AFAIK it's never been corrected.

  9. #9
    MCMLXXX Matt H.'s Avatar
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    I haven't seen this, but I'm a fan of the BREATHLESS remake from 1983. It's a hyper-stylized L.A. movie that sort of reminds me of MIAMI BLUES.
    Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome? Why did you watch it, Max?

  10. #10
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    I've never seen the remake but am kind of curious about it.
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