A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »
Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American. Written by
Parvulesco the Writer, the subject of the press interview, is played by Jean-Pierre Melville, "Godfather of the New Wave." There is a reference to Melville's film, Bob le Flambeur (1956), in "Breathless" when Poiccard asks Tomatchoff how to cash the check he gives him. Tomatchoff responds, "Try Bob Montagne," who is the title character in the Melville film. Poiccard replies, "But he's in jail." See more »
During street shots, countless passersby keep on staring into the camera, revealing the shots to be made without appropriate filming barriers and not using extras for pedestrians. See more »
This Movie, a triumph of the French Nouvelle Vague, marks a turning point, not only for the Director, Jean-Luc Godard, but for anyone who sees it. The plot, though intriguing, is secondary to the incredible presentation. Use of hand-held cameras and jump-cuts (where the director cuts from one angle to a shot of the same angle two seconds later, a stylistic effect that can show freneticism or boredom) were revolutionary at the time, yet can still surprise and delight today.
Jean Seaberg is excellent, with the nicest accent you'll ever hear, as are the supporting cast, all rounded stereotypes. But the leading man outshines all the others. A virtuoso display from Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel Poiccard makes the viewer swoon and scorn in equal measures. He doesn't make it easy for us to empathize with him, yet we still do, and in doing, we feel we have earned something.
Revolutionary. Brilliant. Oh so pretty.
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