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Breathless


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Breathless + 400 Blows (1959) - Essential Art House + 8 1/2 (The Criterion Collection)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Interviewed during the 1960 Cannes Film Festival, Jean-Luc Godard at age 30 was already a study in contrariness. His feature-directing debut Breathless was a hit and clearly a game changer for the art and practice of filmmaking. Yet the young auteu

From the Back Cover

One of the masterpieces of the French New Wave, Breathless launched the career of Jean-Luc Godard. This groundbreaking film tells the story of Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a handsome young criminal, who is on the run from the law after stealing a car and killing a policeman. He hides out in the Paris apartment of Patricia (Jean Seberg), a beautiful young American student. They spend their time dodging the police, making love and stealing cars to raise money for a trip to Italy. As the police net tightens, Michel's bravado and desperation grow and Patricia commits the ultimate act of betrayal.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet, Roger Hanin
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Writers: Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut
  • Producers: Georges de Beauregard
  • Format: Black & White, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NC66
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Breathless" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

This is hands-down one of the best movies ever made.
Arch Llewellyn
I just want to say that the movie was made over forty years ago - the smoking was cool back then, and Belmondo made smoking look very sexy.
Galina
This further evolves on how Godard makes the film a little more interesting in a cerebral way in regards to cinema.
A Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer were film connoisseurs, who all worked as movie critics for the same magazine. Between the years 1958 to 1964, this group transitioned into filmmaking, and, along with other directors, such as Agnés Varda, Jean-Pierre Melville and Louis Malle, ushered in the French New Wave Movement, (Nouvelle Vague). Their background in film theory and criticism was a major factor in motivating these artists to create a bold new cinema.

Jean-Luc Godard's first feature, "Breathless," was released in 1960, introducing the New Wave and changing cinema forever. Godard used jump cuts, handheld cameras, zoom lenses and a new editing style to take the viewer places never ventured before. No artificial, glossy stage sets in this movie. Along with the protagonists, we travel up and down small side streets, into local bars and sidewalk cafes, across boulevards and, for inconsequential moments, brush the lives of passers-by, who have nothing to do with the screenplay, but always play a role in our daily comings and goings. The fragmented rhythm of modern life is translated here. Godard used sound in the same way, adding street noises, bits of conversations and music to add to the movie's authenticity and pace. This was indeed innovative at the time. And it still holds up. Watching "Breathless" forty-five years after its debut, 21st century technology does not detract from its dynamism or relevance in the slightest. In fact, with each viewing, I find the film every bit as exciting and poignant as I did the first time.

Jean-Paul Belmondo plays the feckless, foul-mouthed car thief, anti-hero and Humphrey Bogart fan, Michel Poiccard.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paul M West on October 5, 2001
Format: DVD
Godard's "Breathless" (or "Out of Breath," the correct translation fo the title) still feels fresh and alive, especially when viewed in the dreary context of contemporary Hollywood cinema. It offers a sparklingly original alternative at every turn, from the pacing of its story to the engine that drives its loopy, intentionally sloppy plot. This is a picture that is alive on screen as you watch it, forcing you to draw yourself into the action rather than lay back and passively absorb it.
The film is one of the finest examples of New Wave cinema, from its jump cuts, its depiction of Parisian life, its incredibly sustained sequences of pure converstaion and dialogue, all of which dominate what is essentially a simple chase picture.
Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg are a perfect mix of classic and contemporary, both remaining timeless. Their relationship really unfolds in the film's central sequence, a near 25-minute conversation in Seberg's bedroom, in which such subjects as Faulkner and fornication are explored aptly. And that is what the film is known for----when was the last time a thriller contained the audacity to feel free to explore areas residing outside the genre?
Like "Pulp Fiction," one of its distant relatives, this is a film where plot and story are present but removed far into the background, while character, dialogue and visual texture are placed in the foreground. In its pristine black-and-white cinematography, its innovative use of camera movement and position, its raw, defined performances, and its tireless style and visual invention, "Breathless" is a great film and belongs in any serious film lover's video library.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 2005
Format: DVD
Numerous reviews, essays, and books have dedicated much thought and contemplative work on Jean-Luc Godard's film Breathless. So where does one begin this review knowing that many have already dissected his film? Perhaps, we should try to understand why this film has received so much commotion.

Contemplating the society when Breathless was shot and comparing it with our current society might not be the best approach. It is also silly to think that a young audience will get all the references to older films, which Breathless intends to shove aside with a refreshing style. For example, jump cuts are something that today's youth have seen millions of times. If people watch MTV or any other television channel they will see the infamous jump cut in action in both recorded and live format. So why bother watching Breathless? Well, to fully appreciate Breathless the audience should watch films from France and the rest of the world that were made before, let's say in 1955. In this way the audience will build an idea of how stiff and structured films were without much visual surprise, which big production companies still depend on occasionally as they use them as a safety net in fear of having a bomb at the box office. 

Breathless is actually a refreshing breath of a new wave that hit the world of the cinema in the 1960s. This fresh idea helped develop film and cinema into what it is today, and this is why Breathless is such an important film. The film broke the cinematic rules that were in use by the production companies. For example, Godard wrote his shooting script during his morning coffee while probably inhaling his nicotine fumes, scenes where not rehearsed and the idea of how to frame a shot came though the motion and the making of the film.
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