Friday, July 31, 2015

1960 - BREATHLESS - or À bout de souffle

Goddard's first film in his peculiar choppy style is sort of a takeoff on a cheap American gangster film.  In fact, Francois Truffaut has a story credit on the film.  However Goddard essentially improvised the film so I doubt the film and Truffaut's story have much in common.

Considering the direction Goddard's film career was to take this is a very watchable film.  The locations in Paris which are fun to look at were filmed by Raoul Coutard who specialized in on location photography for the French "New Wave." 

Jean-Paul Belmondo is the petty gangster who acts like Humphrey Bogart and Jean Seberg is his American girlfriend.  Breathless has a very long scene with these two actors which involves Belmondo trying to persuade Seberg to sleep with him.  There is also an appearance by Jean-Pierre Melville as an author spouting lots of trite musing about women and the nature of love.  Goddard was a big fan of Melville who was essentially an independent filmmaker before they invented the word.

I enjoyed Breathless a lot because believe me it gets to be a real chore watching Goddard films as his career rolls along.

90 minutes

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