- 1 hr 27 min
Breathless is a French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard and released in 1960. The movie tells the story of Michel Poiccard, a small-time criminal who steals a car and drives to Paris. Along the way, he shoots a police officer who tries to stop him, and the rest of the film follows him as he tries to evade the police and escape to Italy with his lover, Patricia Franchini.
The film stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel Poiccard and Jean Seberg as Patricia Franchini. Both actors give memorable performances, with Belmondo portraying Michel as a charismatic but ultimately tragic figure, while Seberg brings depth to her character, who is torn between love and loyalty.
Breathless is considered to be one of the defining films of the French New Wave, a cinematic movement that emerged in the late 1950s and early 60s. The film's loose, improvisational style, jump cuts, and handheld camera work were all hallmarks of the New Wave, which sought to break free from the more traditional narrative styles of Hollywood cinema.
The film's opening sequence, in which Michel steals the car and drives to Paris, sets the tone for the rest of the movie. The camera follows Michel from various angles as he speeds through the French countryside, with the jazz-infused soundtrack adding to the frenetic energy of the scene.
Once Michel arrives in Paris, he reunites with Patricia, a young American woman who he met in the south of France. The two begin a tumultuous affair, with Michel trying to convince Patricia to accompany him to Italy while she struggles with her feelings for him.
Throughout the film, Godard makes use of jump cuts to disrupt the flow of time and create a sense of disorientation. Scenes are often shot out of order or without a clear sense of continuity, adding to the film's sense of improvisation and unpredictability.
As Michel's situation grows increasingly desperate and the police close in, his sense of bravado begins to crumble, and the film's final scenes are tinged with a sense of tragedy and despair.
Breathless is a film that defies easy categorization. Its unique blend of energy, style, and emotion has made it an enduring classic of world cinema, and its influence can be seen in countless films that have followed in its wake.
In the years since its release, the film has been analyzed and dissected by critics and cinephiles alike, with many pointing to it as a key example of the French New Wave's influence on modern cinema. Whether viewed as a groundbreaking work of art or simply as a thrilling crime drama, Breathless remains a must-see film for anyone interested in the history and evolution of cinema.
Breathless is a 1960 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7.