1960 | Drama/French New Wave | 87 minutes | In French with English subtitles
Michel is a misfit who decides to steal a car so he can go to Italy. He is also out of control when he shoots a pursuing policeman. Penniless, he hooks up with Patricia, his American love interest. The naive Patricia hides this wanted killer in her apartment. He seduces her and she becomes pregnant. When she learns that Michel is on the run, she betrays him. At first Michel chooses to surrender. But life in prison is not an option so he attempts to escape. Will he succeed or will his life end tragically? Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 97%
Berlin International Film Festival: Silver Bear for Best Director (Jean-Luc Godard)
1960 Prix Jean Vigo Award
British Film Institute, 2012 “Sight and Sound Critics Poll.” The film ranked #13 of all-time great films
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With the appearance of BREATHLESS, we have a film that is new—aesthetically and morally. This is Godard’s first full-length film and it establishes that he has a style of his own and a point of view. It is the epic of a romantic outlaw, as egocentric as romantics and outlaws always are, whose life seems the only natural one to him. It is a film of flawless consistency and uncompromised truth.
This movie liberated the cinema—the stories you could tell and the ways you could tell them—as clearly as Picasso freed painting and the Sex Pistols rebooted rock.
BREATHLESS is a pop artifact and a daring work of art, made at a time when the two possibilities existed in a state of almost perfect convergence. That is the source of its uniqueness.
Modern movies begin here, with Jean-Luc Godard’s BREATHLESS. No debut film since CITIZEN KANE in 1942 has been as influential. What is most revolutionary about the movie is its headlong pacing, its cool detachment, its dismissal of authority, and the way its narcissistic young heroes are obsessed with themselves and oblivious to the larger society.
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