Jean Luc Godard’s ‚Breathless‘

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Released in 1960, director Jean Luc Godard’s film Breathless looked at the life of a grifter (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his American girlfriend (Jean Seberg). The movie was one of the early films of the French New Wave and pioneered the use of the jump cut—film edited so that scenes are broken into two parts, with a chunk of time eliminated. This technique pushed the story forward without detailing what had happened, forcing the viewer to use his or her imagination. 

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Also in Breathless, Seberg ushered in a new female archetype in film—the childlike woman who was both innocent and experienced. Seberg’s adolescent look would be given a polished elegance by Audrey Hepburn a year later in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and a frantic neuroticism by Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby in 1968. Twiggy also leveraged Seberg’s boyish style in fashion in the mid-1960s. Seberg died in 1979 of a barbiturate overdose. She was 40.

Here’s Godard’s Breathless, with a swinging soundtrack by French jazz pianist Martial Solal…

       

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