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Jean Seberg -- Breathless Paperback – May 2, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
I'm only a few years younger than Jean would have been and vividly recall Preminger's search for his Saint Joan and the horrific reviews the production and Jean received. I knew Jean had subsequently married the french intellectual Romain Gary and had resurrected her career in French and European films. I also knew that she died under mysterious circumstances after becoming involved with the Black Panthers. But Breathless did a very good job of filling in the gaps. The one 'gap' I wish McGee could have filled in is Jean's son who lives in Spain. An interview with him would have been a valuable addition to a very decent biography.
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 10 months ago by Gretta Irwin
This is a well written biography of American actress Jean Seberg, star of the famous French New Wave film Breathless (directed by Jean Luc-Godard) as well as Saint Joan, Bonjour... Read morePublished on June 26, 2011 by stephen w
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