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Breathless

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Breathless

  1. 1. Year: 1960Director: Jean-Luc GodardWriters: François Truffaut (story), Jean-Luc Godard (screenplay)Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg and Henri-Jacques Huet Breathless (À bout de soufflé) is a 1960 French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard withstory writer François Truffaut, starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg. This film tells thestory of a young car thief’s expedition of escape. After killing a police officer, Michel Poiccardis wanted by the authorities and tries to convince Patricia Franchini who is studying journalismat the Sorbonne, to runaway to Rome with him. He plans to collect a debt from an unlawfulacquaintance and expects Patricia to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. This film starts off with Michel modeling his behavior after a tough guy characterportrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the movies. Michel’s charisma and poise makes him appealingalthough the audience knows that he is an unscrupulous criminal who only knows how to servehimself. But his screen presence allows for the viewer to laugh with him as he ventures offcommitted, expecting the support of Patricia who he has not even known for a long period oftime. His character does not progress; it’s a character that I love to hate. This film is mainlynarrative. It relates to chapter three in The Film Theory text by incorporating the NarrativeConcept which is the content that is selected and arranged in a cause-and-effect sequenceoccurring over time. Narrative System includes: Exposition, rising action, climax, falling actionand denouement. Narrative films tell a story directed towards fiction, based on screenplays, havethe technical demands of film production and its primary purpose is entertainment. A Film theory that relates to this film can be the Formalist film theory. In this theory thefocus is more on technical elements of a film, for example: lighting- sounds- and set design. InBreathless, although it is a black and white film, lighting is crucial to the succession of the filmand becomes even more vital to the film because it is in black and white. It is about tonality. Alot of colors in sets, costumes and make up may render in black and white as the same tone andnot look like they do to the naked eye that why it’s important to have an elaborate set design. TheFormalist theory is mostly about style. Breathless conveys the black and white style perfectlybecause there is always a complete tonality and no scene ever looks too dark. There is a completewholeness which inhabits the ideological formalist.
  2. 2. In the article “Academy Celebrates French New Wave with Photo Exhibition andScreening of Godards Breathless” we see how The Academy of Motion Picture Arts andSciences will be presenting a recently restored 35mm print of Breathless on Friday, March 23, at7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The screening was presented inconjunction with the opening of the Academys new exhibition "Photos de Cinema: Images ofthe French New Wave by Raymond Cauchetier." The rebirth of this film will give a newperspective to the viewers of this generation. In the Feb 8th article, “Time goes by and Bogart is still a box-office hit,” Godard ismentioned as he is remembered for his 1960 Breathless. In 1999, when young Britishentrepreneurs Will Clarke and Danny Perkins set up a tiny new distribution company calledOptimum Releasing, they started off by re-releasing films like The Third Man and Jean-LucGodard’s Breathless. By re-running these movies, they keep their memory alive and expand theaudiences. I almost dislike Patricia’s character as well. She’s naïve and puts up with all of Michel’sproblems and eventually gives in to his shallow words of love. Her character is filled withvagueness and ambiguity. It’s ironic that she works for a newspaper yet doesn’t know thatMichel is being sought after by the police. This film has many flaws but it’s still a film worthwatching. The music and the cinematography in this film are impressive for its time. The policechase scene is a beautifully directed scene. As Michel runs from the police down the narrowstreet was shot at a great angle and gave the audience the perspective that they too were chasingafter Michel. This film is definitely worth seeing.Academy celebrates french new wave with photo exhibition and screening of godards breathless. (2012, Mar 19). Targeted News Service, pp. n/a. http://search.proquest.com/docview/929082439?accountid=11809Macnab, G. (2012, Feb 08). Time goes by and bogart is still a box-office hit. The Independent, pp. 44. http://search.proquest.com/docview/920161001?accountid=11809
  3. 3. CHECKLIST FOR PLAGIARISM1) (x) I have not handed in this assignment for any other class.2) (x) If I reused any information from other papers I have written for other classes, I clearly explain that in thepaper.3) (x ) If I used any passages word for word, I put quotations around those words, or used indentation and citationwithin the text.4) (x ) I have not padded the bibliography. I have used all sources cited in the bibliography in the text of the paper.5) (x ) I have cited in the bibliography only the pages I personally read.6) (x ) I have used direct quotations only in cases where it could not be stated in another way. I cited the sourcewithin the paper and in the bibliography.7) (x ) I did not so over-use direct quotations that the paper lacks interpretation or originality.8) (x ) I checked yes on steps 1-7 and therefore have been fully transparent about the research and ideas used in mypaper.Name: Natalie Gonzalez Date: 2/25/2012

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