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Breathless (Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray] [1961]

4.2 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Michel Fabre, Jean-Pierre Melville
  • Directors: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Producers: Georges de Beauregard
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Sept. 2010
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002VD5S5G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,305 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Jean-Luc Godard's groundbreaking tale of the brief love affair between petty criminal Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and young American student Patricia (Jean Seberg). Michel has killed a motorcycle cop and is now hiding out in Patricia's Paris apartment, but the police are getting closer, and as Michel falls deeper in love with Patricia, his time also gets shorter and shorter. Godard's film, one of the first and most important statements of the French New Wave, caused a revolution in the way films were made, opening up many new, previously untried possibilities for cinema.

From Amazon.co.uk

Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo), an ex-airline steward turned hoodlum, steals a car and heads to Paris. Discovering a gun in the car's glove department, he uses it to shoot and kill a cop who tries to wave him down. He wants to escape to Italy with his American girlfriend Patricia (Jean Seberg), but the police are after him, and he is distracted by all the pleasures Paris has to offer.

Story-wise, Jean-Luc Godard's A Bout De Souffle (1960) (aka Breathless) is pretty thin, but as its director always proclaimed, you don't need much in the way of narrative to make a movie. Sometimes a girl and a gun are quite enough. The effortlessly cool and laconic Belmondo mirrors the director's mischief and flamboyance. With his fat cigarette stub perched on his bottom lip, his shades, his felt hat and white socks, he looks like a cross between a left-bank intellectual and an American gumshoe (perhaps his beloved Bogart). With her close-cropped hair and New York Herald Tribune T-shirt, his girlfriend (Jean Seberg) is equally stylish. A Hollywood star (she had appeared in the lead in Otto Preminger's Saint Joan in 1957 when she was still a teenager), the Iowa-born Seberg is turned by Godard into the lithe embodiment of European radical chic.

The film has a spontaneity that studio-bound offerings of the time missed by a mile. Cameraman Raoul Coutard uses natural light and real locations whenever possible. Lots of the pet tricks in the movie--jump cuts, whip pans and improvised tracking shots--have been copied relentlessly by imitators ever since. A Bout De Souffle, though, is unique: anarchic, liberating and hugely stylish, "the best film around now", as its trailer proclaimed. It made Godard, almost overnight, into "the world's most discussed, interviewed and quoted filmmaker". --Geoffrey Macnab

On the DVD: Godard's greatest movie has been lovingly transferred to disc by Optimum, and comes with several extras including trailers and production notes and an old Godard short, Charlotte Et Son Jules, also starring the swaggering, arrogant Belmondo. --Geoffrey Macnab --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The DVD transfer of this groundbreaking fascinating film is exceptional. Alot of effort has gone into the picture quality, which is crisp and faultless. The revelation is the subtle and thoughtfully put together subtitles, extremely difficult in a film with such an enormous amount of French "slang".The DVD of Godard's classic re-interpretation of the limitations of cinematic technique, isn't packed full of extras. The extras available are however, insightful. For example the biographies are informative and the Godard short available on the DVD shows the potential of what Godard was to achieve in his extended hotel room scene. This is a brilliant transfer with excellent picture, sound, subtitles and limited but valuable extras.
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Format: DVD
Dedicated to the Hollywood gangster movies of the 30's and 40's, Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a small time crook with a penchant for Bogart and the illusory glamour of a film noir mobster. "Un Bout de Souffle" demonstrates how a simple narrative can be shaped into a thoroughly absorbing and charismatic film.
Belmondo has a face which looks like it was carved out of granite. It's a disreputable mug, complete with fat, crumpled cigarette constantly adhering to his lip. The image is iconic. He steals a car, discovers a gun in its glove compartment, and suddenly his transformation to matinee idol is complete. In an ensuing police chase, he guns down a copper.
He continues his flight to Paris, where he hopes to collect some money he's owed and make an escape to Italy. But his fantasy world begins to implode as he exposes himself to the encroaching claustrophobia of reality. Paris is no longer a big enough city. This is a small time crook whose limitations are circumscribed by his own rigid thought processes and inability to cope with frustration. Director Godard delivers a lesson in criminology in this hero-come-villain's inability to think ahead or plan, his vulnerability to spontaneity and immediate gratification, his chaotic vision, his blind optimism that something will turn up and that he won't get caught.
Jean Seberg plays Belmondo's girlfriend, an American journalism student. She becomes his sole link with the reality of a law-abiding world. He wants everything done his way, wants things to happen now, shows little awareness of consequences. But the net is tightening and he begins to recognise emotions. But falling for a woman is even more oppressive than the imploding lifestyle. If you trust someone, you expose yourself to abuse.
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Format: DVD
Many of the reviewers seem to see "Breathless" as being primarily of historical interest now , a groundbreaking film in its time introducing pioneering cinematic techniques. Thirty five years after its release and it still makes for absorbing viewing and has a sense of freshness about it that many modern films lack. The storyline is fairly slight; a petty crook (Belmondo) steals a car ,kills a policeman and goes on the run. He spends most of his time in Paris trying to win the love of his lukewarm American girlfriend (Seberg) and endeavouring to collect some money from an elusive Italian cohort. The strength of "Breathless" lies in its characterisation, Godard's stylish direction and the unorthodox romantic relationship between Belmondo and Seberg. There are also plenty of wry observations and philosophical musings from the bohemian couple to keep the viewers attention as the police close in on antihero Belmondo. Despite its age and it being shot in monochrome ,the picture and sound quality on this DVD is excellent and this contributes significantly to the overall enjoyment of a quality film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jean-Luc's debut feature is truly a masterpiece in more ways than one. Considering this movie is now over 50 years old it is as relevant now as it was on its release. It almost creates it's own world in which it can be seen again and again without ever losing it's freshness and surprise. Be it the hand held camera techniques, the jazz infused soundtrack or simply Jean Seberg, this movie set the standard for the New Wave movement and has inspired generations of independent film makers since.

If you Love film then this is your first stop..........................
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Classic cool french film with english subtitles, this was a ground-breaker of the French new wave on its release in 1960 and still stands up as a piece of cinema now. Jean-Paul Belmondo is compelling in the role of Michel, the petty criminal who shoots a policeman then goes to ground in Paris with is american girlfriend, played by Jean Seberg. The black and white imagery is perfect, the use of jump-cuts just keeps you on your toes and the end scenes are iconic. A must for film buffs!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Jean-Luc Godard's "A Bout de Souffle" or Breathless, is a milestone in modern cinema. He and cinematographer Raoul Coutard, pioneered the use of naturalistic lighting as opposed to the more standard Hollywood style of focusing on a certain object or person. The use of the jump-cut to advance the story is still used today, and the story of lovers-on-the-run, whilst nothing new, is told in a different light. The basic plot line is Michel, Jean-Paul Belmondo in his most famous role, steals a car, kills a cop and wants to go to Italy with his sometime girlfriend Patricia. He is owed money but has to wait until he can collect whilst all the time the police tighten their grip around him. Jean Seberg, who plays Patricia, also in her defining role, had already tried a career in America which didn't really amount to much, turned to Europe as her new start. Godard directed and produced this film during 1959 and it was his first major production after making some rather smaller scaled short films. This film could only have been released in 1960. Along with Psycho, it heralded a new era of film making, a more natural and less polished cinema. Whilst not the first of the "French New Wave" cinema, (Truffaut's "The 400 Blows" has that claim) but it is certainly the most influential.
An important film not only in its structure and its look but also the use of improvised dialogue between two people which at times has practically nothing to do with the plot (see Tarantino for the most obvious example), which can be slightly tedious and repetative (hence the 4-star review) but does not deter from the spirit of the film.
If you have any interest in the history of film and how cinema began to change its style towards a more unconventional way, you should own this film. The film is dedicated to cinema, and cinema since the release of this film has a lot to owe to Godard.
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