← Back to Reviews
 

Breathless




Breathless

I'll start with Breathless, the movie that made famous Jean-Luc Godard. First the plot, Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo) kills a cop while he's going to Paris. When he arrives he finds Patricia (Jean Seberg), a girl he once slept with and he falls in love with her. He tries to convince her to escape with him to Rome. That's pretty much it, the movie is much more centered on the style than on its content. And I think than that's actually the point Godard was trying to make. The movie is probably the most well-known of the french new wave. In the 60's in France philosophy was popular, it was cool to quote Nietzsche, Kant or Freud and the French New Wave is highly influenced by this trend. Rohmer has made My Night at Maud with the influence of Blaise Pascal, In The 400 Blows Young Antoine reads Balzac (he's not a philosopher, but still an important intellectual figure) and Godard is highly influenced by existentialism (Camus, Sartre, etc.) The idea that there isn't any kind of meaning or moral value to life we are just moving living things that, by their actions, determine their future. There is a quote in the film that I liked very much that showed that very well. When Jean Seberg asked to a famous author what are his ambitions in life? He answered: Ďíto become immortal and to dieíí. The conversations the characters have are pretty empty, meaningless compared to Rohmer movies for instance, but it doesnít make it bad it is a particular voice, it is a particular way to see the world. Godard wants to show how frivolous, unexpected life is. Existentialism puts liberty at first, as opposed to how Freud saw the human mind. The german doctor used to say that 90% of our brain is subconscious and that our free will is very limited, the even older philosopher Baruch Spinoza used to say every action we do is determined by a cause, hence we do not have free will at all. Godard and this philosophical movement go against that and Breathless is a perfect example. Just in the editing, sometime I found it to be distracting because it was unusual, but it completely works with the idea of the film and the desire to create something new, not determined by any kind of cinema that was already there.


Overall Iíd say that for my personal liking the movie isnít that good, that itís pretty empty and that itís not the kind of thing that I enjoy, but it is a very important movie and a good movie that with its direction accentuate the message it conveys. I donít know how to rate it, I think that if you read my review you can have a good idea of my appreciation. For my peronnal appreciation (and not the quality of the film) I'd give a grade like that