Breathless

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Breathless 1960

Directed by: Jean-Luc Godard

Also directed: Contempt, Band of Outsiders, Pierrot le fou, Masculin feminin

Starring: Jean-Paul Belmundo, Jean Seberg

Smiling uncontrollably this morning because I watched Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless last night. I woke up trying to remember every moment of it… Here are the parts that stuck with me:

When she asks him if he’d rather feel grief or nothing… The philosophical ideas expressed in this film… I was going to say “are so well-done”, but this film was so original and unique, I think it would do it an injustice it to separate it into the well-done and not-well-done. Anyway, the dialogue had me thinking and falling in love with the characters. The dialogue also had me thinking, “Goddamn you Europe, always acting like I need to come to you to go on the adventures I long for.”

The interview she had with the… author? Asking about women’s roles in society. The american girl’s idea of independence… I suppose it made me think I’m a real sham… I’m an independent woman, but if Jean-Paul Belmondo wanted me to be his watch dog lover, hey, I’d drop it all.

The camera’s eye in the car in the beginning… He’s a criminal, but they humanize him in such a beautiful way. He’s a child in an adult’s body, making silly sounds and laughing as he passes all of the cars on the street. He thinks he can have the girl because he asks for her. Oh, the boyish charms just had me swooning.

My favorite use of the frame was definitely when he goes to meet the gal on the Champs d’Elyse and the camera stays in one place. They walk to the end of the road, they’re so far away, and you think, gosh, I really want to see what this girl he’s chasing looks like, and at that moment, her route turns back around and they’re walking towards you.

And the ending of course, where we see that love is cruel and can’t be trusted… My favorite theme of all time as an embittered girl in her early 20s… “It makes me want to puke”

God, the whole film was magical and perfect. I’ve never seen anything like it.

 

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