"Breathless" Is Released
Breathless (French: À bout de souffle; literally "at breath's end") is a 1960 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard.
Godard's first feature-length film is among the inaugural films of the French New Wave. It derived from a scenario by fellow New Wave director, François Truffaut, and the film was released the year after Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour. Together the three films brought international acclaim to the nouvelle vague. At the time, Breathless attracted much attention for its bold visual style and the innovative editing use of jump cuts.
The first feature film directed by Jean-Luc Godard and one of the seminal films of the French New Wave, Breathless is story of the love between Michel Poiccard, a small-time hood wanted for killing a cop, and Patricia Franchini, an American who sells the International Herald Tribune along the boulevards of Paris. Their relationship develops as Michel hides out from a dragnet. Breathless uses the famous techniques of the French New Wave: location shooting, improvised dialogue, and a loose narrative form. In addition Godard uses his characteristic jump cuts, deliberate "mismatches" between shots, and references to the history of cinema, art, and music. Much of the film's vigor comes from collisions between popular and high culture: Godard shows us pinups and portraits of women by Picasso and Renoir, and the soundtrack includes both Mozart's clarinet concerto and snippets of French pop radio. When Breathless was first released, audiences and critics responded to the burst of energy it gave the French cinema; it won numerous international awards and became an unexpected box-office sensation. ~ Louis Schwartz, All Movie Guide