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8.4
/10
17,116 Ratings

Breathless

À bout de souffle

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
France, 1960
Drama, Crime

Synopsis

Petty thug Michel panics and impulsively kills a policeman while driving a stolen car. On the lam, he turns to his aspiring journalist girlfriend Patricia, hiding out in her Paris apartment. When Patricia learns that Michel is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties.

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Breathless Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

1960 | 2 wins including: Silver Bear for Best Director

BAFTA Awards

1962 | Nominee: Best Foreign Actress

Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists

1961 | Nominee: Best Foreign Director

Prix Jean Vigo

1960 | Winner: Feature Film

I don’t so much recollect my first reactions to Breathless as find myself involuntarily possessed by them, or rather inextricably embedded in them. I cannot report on Breathless as it looks now because it will never lose for me its original mesmeric fascination.
May 01, 2010
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Godard’s novel method was not only the practical springboard for his formal and intellectual inventions, it was a part of them. Breathless would be an “action film” in the sense of “action painting”: the act and the moment of making the film were as much a part of the work’s meaning as its specific content and style. As such, it would be the first existentialist film.
May 13, 2007
What’s new about A bout de souffle? To begin with, the way characters are conceived. Godard never uses a particularly precise line in the way he sketches his characters; instead, he follows – consciously – a series of contradictory directions. Godard is an instinctive creator, and rather than logic per se (which he was happy enough to follow in his first, tentative efforts, but which he is now too lazy to follow – and I don’t think it interests him), he follows the logic of his instinct.
April 01, 1960

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