breathless

November 23, 2007

i like that godard isn’t afraid to use jump cuts. and not just use them, but blatantly use them. there’s no hiding them here. the long shot/long take with the hand held camera is great. i loved the contrast of those really extended scenes and long uncut scenes, with the hyper-edited dialogue scenes. when i think back to myself that there was a bedroom scene that lasted 20some minutes i wonder why i wasn’t bored to tears by the film, but i couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

it’s definitely not a definable film, genre speaking. i thought it was going to be a thriller at first, then a romance, then a comedy, and so on. through my readings and whatnot i’ve read that it was meant to subvert the classic hollywood film by taking a story that seems like a conventional hollywood tale (boy steals car, shoots cop, hides with girl…) but shot it in a real devil-may-care style. but it’s hard to see what was so revolutionary about it now that hand held camera and hyper-editing are fairly commonplace in today’s films, but it’s something that i can appreciate it for.

all in all a great film, and it seems like the perfect way to get into the french new wave.

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6 Responses to “breathless”


  1. plus it has this nice end dialog:

    – Makes me want to puke.
    – What did he say?
    – He said you make him want to puke.
    – What’s that mean, “puke”?

    which if I ever do a “top 5 last lines in a movies” list, it would be included…

  2. johnheberle Says:

    i’ve read that other dvd’s have other translations. like he says “it’s a bitch” or “it’s a scumbag” or something.

    “makes me want to puke” sounds the best to me.


  3. I choose that translation, because it was closed to the german subtitles I remember…

  4. pixote Says:

    I think Godard practically invented the jump cut here — or, at least, pioneered it’s use in a feature narrative. I heard a story once, I don’t know if it’s true, that he was prepping the film for Cannes at the last minute (like the morning of the screening) and the film didn’t feel right to him or something, so he just started ripping out strips of film without regard for how the remaining bits cut together.

  5. johnheberle Says:

    i wouldn’t put it past him.


  6. He yesterday received the European film prize for his life’s work, but said “Thanks, but no thanks” and didn’t show up… poor Wim Wenders who held his laudation was so disappointed, so disappointed… rejection anger pain


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