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Breathless (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray + DVD)

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

A French hood kills a policeman and heads for Italy with his U.S. girlfriend.

Special Features

There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard (Band of Outsiders) burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinéma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo (Pierrot le fou) and Jean Seberg (Bonjour tristesse), Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Archival interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Contemporary interviews with Coutard, assistant director Pierre Rissient, and filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker
  • Two video essays, one on Seberg and one on Breathless as film criticism
  • Chambre 12, Hôtel de suède, an eighty-minute 1993 documentary about the making of Breathless
  • Charlotte et son Jules, a 1959 short by Godard starring Belmondo
  • Trailer
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by scholar Dudley Andrew, writings by Godard, François Truffaut’s original treatment, and Godard’s scenario

  • Product Details

    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Black & White, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: French
    • Subtitles: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Number of discs: 3
    • Rated:
      Unrated
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2014
    • Run Time: 90 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00GRA7M2G
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,312 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    Raw, exciting storytelling ( in B&W ) stripped down to the basics.
    An excellent example of French New Wave cinema that helped revolutionize how the world looked at film.
    In French with English subtitles.
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    Format: Blu-ray
    A key film of the late Fifties/early Sixties French New Wave, À BOUT DE SOUFFLE (Breathless) opens with suave lowlife Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo) stealing a car. When he's caught speeding on the way to Paris and pursued by the police, Michel kills the officer. Desperate to collect some money owed and make his escape to Italy, he hides out with Patricia (Jean Seberg), an American girl he had slept with once and who is oblivious to the danger he's in.

    This is one of the most influential films of all time in its liberal use of jump cuts, in idolizing American noir films and transferring that aesthetic to a foreign country, and its allusions to other films and even self-referentially to itself. Goddard left plenty of signs that he was seeking to overturn the staid French mainstream tradition, such as when Michel rebuffs a hawker selling "Cahiers du cinema" (the French film magazine), or when Patricia interviews a film director named Parvulesco, who is none other than Godard's New Wave comrade-in-arms Jean-Pierre Melville.

    À BOUT DE SOUFFLE is undeniably dated. Even knowing all that context around its creation and reception, I found it hard to be really bowled over and cannot award the film a full five stars. Still, there's a lot to like. I'm particularly fond of the film's dialogue, which revels in French slang that hitherto had not been consider "proper" for art, most of which goes over Patricia's head and some of which Michel explains. In that sense one might compare the film to Raymond Queneau's novel "Zazie dans le métro" from the same time. Criterion's English subtitles deal with it not through literal translations but by trying to find analogous English slang.
    Read more ›
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    This is a great film. I really liked the touching tribute to Bogart. The whole package is worth the price. This is a timeless classic
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    One of the few Criterion Blu-Rays, where I could tell no measurable difference between it and the already existing DVD. A bit disappointing.
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    By Billie on February 16, 2016
    Format: Blu-ray
    Not a great movie, sexist and in some parts dated, but technically superior introducing the jump cut
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