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Breathless (Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray] 
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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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
If you Love film then this is your first stop..........................
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A real game changing film that deserves five stars but let down by the physical packaging. A stupid rigid plastic disc that is far too tight, I'll be amazed if it doesn't damage... Read morePublished 2 months ago by N. M. Fletcher
Amazing film, but I thought for the price I was paying, I'd get the full DVD, extras included. Will not use Amazon video again.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was purchased on behalf of a friend who reports that he enjoyed this one.Published 4 months ago by apteryxaustralis
This is where modern cinema started. With a crew of five, including the director. This is the progenitor of everything from The Bourne set to Sofia Coppola. Joy.Published 6 months ago by Filmfan
Director Jean-Luc Godard followed three short films with his first and still most celebrated 1960 full-length movie À bout de souffle. Read morePublished 7 months ago by heath ledger