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Breathless (1959)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard     Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo Jean Seberg
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Description
 

Learn more about Breathless:

Format: DVD
Sku: 205068952
UPC: 715515026222
UPC 14: 00715515026222
See more in Sci-Fi/Fantasy
 
A Film by Jean-Luc Godard.
A young car thief kills a policeman and tries to persuade a girl to hide in italy with him.

"...not only the most important of the New Wave films but also the most passionate.  Andrew Sarris, The Village Voice
"A landmark film, it forever changed the perceptions of cinema.  BBC Online
"A witty, romantic, innovative chase picture.  Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights At The Movies
"Brilliant...plays beautifully.  Phillip Lopate, The New York Times
"Modern movies begin here, with Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless...No debut film since Citizen Kane has been as influential.  Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Editor's Note
Godard's first feature has been widely hailed as one of the most influential motion pictures ever made. On the run after killing a cop, a small-time crook (Belmondo) hides out in Paris with an American girl (Seberg). After she betrays him, he chooses to face his fate with an absurd stoicism modelled on his hero, Humphrey Bogart. BREATHLESS is the arguable cornerstone of the French New Wave, exhibiting the trademark documentary shooting style, natural sound design, and thematic interest in the detritus of American popular culture. (Rereleased theatrically in April, 2000.)

Features

Video Features DVD, No Longer Produced

Technical Info


Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Image
Video Release Date Release Date: 10/23/2007
Video Play Time Running Time: 90 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 1959
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 1716
Video UPC UPC: 00715515026222
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 2

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: French
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: French
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English
Video Color Spec Video: B&W

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Standard  1.33:1 [4:3]

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Daniel Boulanger
Video Cast Info Jean Seberg
Video Cast Info Jean-Paul Belmondo
Video Cast Info Liliane David
Video Cast Info Cecile Decugis - Editor
Video Cast Info Francois Truffaut - Based On Story By
Video Cast Info Georges de Beauregard - Producer
Video Cast Info Jean-Luc Godard - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Jean-Luc Godard - Director
Video Cast Info Lila Herman - Editor
Video Cast Info Martial Solal - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Raoul Coutard - Cinematographer
Plot Summary
Former "Cahiers du Cinéma" critic Jean-Luc Godard threw everything he had learned from years of movie watching into his debut feature--creating an enormously influential film and a seminal study of existential longing and betrayal. Within the first few minutes, Michel (Belmondo), a foul-mouthed Parisian who idolizes Humphrey Bogart, shoots a police officer and immediately becomes a fugitive on the run. He visits an ex-girlfriend and while casually charming her, he steals her money. He then gallivants through the marvelous streets of 1940s Paris, pursuing Patricia (Seberg), a blond pixie-like American selling the New York Herald Tribune on the Champs-Elysees. Michel is childlike as he pouts and whines in his fruitless attempts to seduce Patricia, then turns cold as ice as he curses her out, racing off to steal a car or meet up with some other thugs. Meanwhile, Patricia seems to seduce everybody with her youth and naivety. She is just 20-years-old, possibly pregnant, and despite the few scattered assignments she does for the paper, she is dreamy and directionless. Even so, she does not refuse Michel, though she won't commit to him. As they follow each other in and out of cafes and boutiques, sailing past the Eiffel Tower and down the grand boulevards in gorgeous stolen cars, we await what is sure to be a tragic ending.

Awards


Nominee (1962)
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Jean Seberg, Best Foreign Actress

Professional Reviews

Total Film
"...Forty years on and BREATHLESS remains a stylistic tour de force..." 08/01/2000 p.83

Entertainment Weekly
"...[An] homage to American B movies." -- Rating: A 01/13/1995 p.67

Los Angeles Times
"...BREATHLESS is just as fresh and startling as it was when it was first released nearly 40 years ago..." 06/25/1998 p.C16

Chicago Sun-Times
"...Its story remains entrancing..." 09/05/1997 p.31

Premiere
"...[T]his outlaw-on-the-lam movie displayed a loose-limbed virtuosity that was both an ode to freedom and a call to arms..." 12/01/2003 p.10

Uncut
"BREATHLESS is about the zeitgeist, and Godard's script is uncannily prescient of the social and sexual upheavals of the ensuing decade." 08/01/2000 p.118

Goatdog's Movies 7 of 10
Well, here it is. The birth of the French New Wave, at least part of that birth. Along with Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais, and Jacques Demy, Jean-Luc Godard was at the head of a wave that crashed over movies and changed how they were seen. Half out of financial necessity and lack of experience, and half out of the first real intellectual view of film since Eisenstein, the New Wave worked against everything that Hollywood films had come to represent...My problem with it is that [Breathless] works great on a theoretical level, but it doesn't really make for an exciting or all that interesting viewing experience. I couldn't identify with either character, which is probably what Godard wanted. But it kept me from enjoying the movie on an emotional level, while I was able to appreciate it on an intellectual level. I guess I need both, which I got in what I consider Godard's masterpiece, 1966's Bande a part (called Band of Outsiders in America, and the inspiration for the name of Quentin Tarantino's production company, A Band Apart). - Michael W. Phillips, Jr.

Reel.com 9 of 10
Back in 1959, Breathless was a shocking and surprising work of cinematic art. Though it may not seem quite so revolutionary today, its coruscating influence can be seen in the films of auteurs like Quentin Tarantino, Hal Hartley, and others. Despite a disappointing audio commentary and sparse extras, the recently released DVD of Jean-Luc Godard's debut feature looks better than it has in years and will engage film historians and casual movie-watchers alike...The morality of Breathless is very difficult to parse, and one of the reasons viewers were so bewildered by the film when it debuted. Protagonist Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a car thief and a brute, though undeniably charming...Godard went on from this debut to become one of the most important cinematic innovators of all time. And he's still going strong at the age of 71, having just released In Praise of Love. Though some of his mid-career work is rather solipsistic and pretentious, his talent and playfulness have always been in evidence, and are certainly in full force with Breathless. - Rod Armstrong

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Godard,Jean-Luc
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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