1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Wiki


#373. Breathless (A bout de souffle)

  • Year: 1960
  • Country: France
  • Language: French
  • Production: UGC, SNC, 87m B&W
  • Director: Jean-Luc Godard
  • Producer: Georges de Beauregard
  • Screenplay: Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut
  • Photography: Raoul Coutard
  • Music: Martial Solal
  • Cast: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville, Roger Hanin
  • Berlin International Film Festival: Silver Bear, Golden Bear nomination

Abridged Book Description

What remains of Breathless today, what speaks to a contemporary, young audience - when jump cuts figure in every second TV commercial, when its stars are long dead or in their twilight career phase, when "comedies of manners" pitting Americans against Europeans are commonplace, and when the mixture of a loose gangster-crime plot, a smart attitude, and a hip array of high and low culture citations are more likely to be attributed to Quentin Tarantino than his genuine predecessor, Jean-Luc Godard? Surprisingly, from an artistic iconoclast whose evolution was so rapid and ambitious, Breathless is a modest debut by Godard... The subtle, formal pleasures of Breathless have yet to be fully appreciated. Whether through accident or design, Godard's low-budget, on-the-fly shooting style produced remarkable innovations.