The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BREATHLESS (1960) **

Well, this is where the whole Frenchie New Wave thing got it’s start with director Jean-Luc Godard’s highly influential but incredibly vapid Breathless.  Looking back on it now, I can’t see what all the big fuss was about.  There’s nothing terribly innovative about a mess of jump cuts randomly edited in or having your characters sit around endlessly pontificating about God knows what.  I’m sure all those snooty critics, art house assholes and film school snobs had themselves a good cinematic circle jerk over this flick, but give me the ’83 Richard Gere remake any day. 


The plot is solid, if a bit thin.  A small time hood named Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) goes on the lam for killing a cop and constantly pesters his teenage American flame (Jean Seberg) to run away with him while the coppers slowly catch up to him and gun him down in the street. 


Godard (who also has a small cameo) starts things off great as we see Belmondo going for a joyride, murdering a cop, and rolling guys in the john for pocket change.  However things get downright stagnant once Belmondo meets up with Seberg as they more or less just sit in bed and talk, talk, talk.  Seberg is fine as the angelic object of affection, but Belmondo is thoroughly grating as the Frenchie asshole who looks like Dermont Mulroney after a six day drunk.  Besides we all know he deserves to die because his name is MICHEL for God’s sakes.  I mean only in France can you be a wanted criminal and have a wimpy name like Michel. 

I’m sure this is the kind of flick that gets film scholars’ peckers harder than a table leg, but I much prefer the '83 remake.  I guess it all comes down to this:  What do you snack on when you watch movies?  Popcorn and soda or whole grain wheat baguettes and a grande half decaffeinated mocha crappuccino?  If you fall in the later category, this flick will definitely be up your alley.  If you’re a popcorn and soda kinda guy like me, this Breathless won’t be a hair on the nut sack of the Richard Gere version.     

Tags: b, drama

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