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aka - Breathless
France 1959
Directed by
Jean-Luc Godard
90 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Bout De Souffle, A

Godard and Belmondo's first film together, scripted by Truffaut with uncredited contributions from Godard and Claude Chabrol, A Bout De Souffle was an international success and became the flag-bearer of the burgeoning Nouvelle Vague of French cinema. It is still today the paradigmatic example of the style.

Whilst one can imagine how fresh and iconoclastic this was in its day, its novelties such as its fast-and-loose play with the narrative, pop cultural hipness and extensive use of jump-cut editing have long since been absorbed into independent film-making. In itself it is a slight affair, largely a portrait of a first romance between two frivolous young lovers and slight pleasures aside what's left are mainly Raoul Coutard's classic black-and-white exteriors of late 1950s Paris.

FYI: The film made a star of Belmondo who became one France's leading film figures but American-born Seberg had a tragic life, suiciding in 1979 when she was only 40. She was the subject of a 2109 biopic Seberg.

The film which was inspired by Joseph H, Lewis's (also) classic B movie, Gun Crazy (1950) and was re-made in 1983 with Jim McBride directing and Richard Gere in the lead.




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