Breathless: The Ultimate New Wave Film
Attention all film studies students around the world! If you are a current or upcoming film student studying the history of cinema, no matter what college you attend, or what country you are in, you are going to watch Breathless.
But Dan! I haven’t watched the film yet! Nor am I a film student! Just some average Joe! Is it worth it?
Stay put fellow reader. And I will tell you the tale of one of the best films to date.
Breathless is a French New Wave film that was released in 1960.
(Yes people, you are going to need subtitles).
Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, Breathless is about a wandering street criminal Michel and his Amercian girlfriend Patricia played by Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg respectively.
It’s very much Bonnie and Clyde, but the Bonnie doesn’t go down with her Clyde (spoiler alert for both Breathless and Bonnie and Clyde).
The story goes with Michel being this tough guy who inspires to be like Humphrey Bogart. He’s a thief after stealing a car and a murderer after shooting and killing a police officer. By his side is his innocent and aspiring journalist Patricia who has no clue of Michel’s criminal background.
The dynamic between these two in interesting. Patricia is unaware of Michel’s wrongdoings, instead, she infatuates herself with his handsome good looks. And trust me, if you saw Michel you would fall for him too.
It is not until Patricia finds out about Michel’s criminal background that she begins to question her relationship with Michel.
As for Michel, he is too caught up in his double life. He believes that he is untouchable. If only he knew better.
In comes the femme fatale, who is a character, mainly female, who leads the main character to their demise. That femme fatale is Patricia. She tells the police of Michel’s crimes, and she admits to her lover of what she has done. Michel is eventually shot by police and is killed not before giving his last breath to condemn the world and Patricia, the one person he thought he could trust.
Breathless is a timeless classic. Over 50 years after its release, Breathless has gone on to become one of the greatest films of all time with its French New Wave style of filming. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who has not seen this classic and to tell film studies students that they are in for a treat!
Have you eve seen Breathless? If so leave a comment below.
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