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Jean Seberg -- Breathless Paperback – May 2, 2015
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Garry McGhee's "Jean Seberg: Breathless" obviously draws quite heavily from the earlier biography, but it sanitizes Jean's life. Jean's disintegration after the end of her marriage to Romain Gary is quite painful to read about, but in order to get a complete understanding of her life, you must be exposed to the facts of her downward spiral.
It was almost as if Jean Seberg had two different personae. Dubbed "the most unlikely of movie stars" by one observer, Jean early in her career was a remarkably buoyant, photogenic and fresh personality. French director Francois Truffaut was captivated by Seberg's performance in "Bonjour Tristesse" (1958). Then came her star turn in Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless", which cemented a place for her in film history. But after that, there is only Robert Rossen's "Lilith" (1963) to watch in order to gauge Jean Seberg's impact and lost potential. Other films in which she sparkled ("Five Day Lover", "Time Out for Love", and "Dead of Summer") are mostly European efforts and are not in circulation.
Jean Seberg was often compared to Jane Fonda. Roughly the same age, they both became involved in French New Wave films, and then strangely they both adopted leftist causes such as the Black Panther movement.Read more ›
Shirley Maclaine, Mia Farrow and Audrey Hepburn were in a similar vein with their child-women personas. These actresses all were forging a new kind of feminine identity, with a naturalness that hadn't been seen on the screen before. Of them all, I find Seberg the most interesting screen presence, if not necessarily the best actress. Is it only because she came to a tragic end that she is more compelling and enigmatic on the screen?
Certainly her performances in "Breathless", "Lillith" and even "Bon Jour Tristesse" are little marvels. Acting-wise, she reminds me of Louise Brooks, in as much as her acting doesn't announce itself boldly. It's humble, poetic, watercolory. She is not so in love with her technique that her subtle effects are marred by the bold, show-offy strokes of her "method". She is always beautiful, but in her best work, she is magical too.
Garry McGee has done a commendable job researching and writing Jean's story. At 311 pages, it is satisfyingly dense, and much more than a perfunctory synopsis of her life and infamous death from suicide in 1979.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was transcended into Jean's story and another time period in our history. This was a great read on the beach and kept my interest.Published 4 months ago by Gretta Irwin
The first 10 or so pages were so badly done--disjointed snippets from other sources--that i actually thought of trying to 'return' my kindle copy. Read morePublished 17 months ago by M. bell
I'm amazed that a book so packed with facts and solid research could be so readable! Worth every minute I spent with it. Will probably pull it out for a second read.Published on April 10, 2011 by A. Roseland
And you thought Marilyn was tragic.
Garry McGee's "Jean Seberg--Breathless" is the heartbreaking story of the life, loves, life, career and death of one of the most startling... Read more
Very good book, Garry McGee did a fantastic job putting together the information for this book. I suggest everyone buy this book and read it.Published on December 9, 2008 by Lauri Reetz