Breathless (1960)

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Breathless is a 1960 French film written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard about a wandering criminal (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his American girlfriend (Jean Seberg). It was Godard's first feature-length work and represented Belmondo's breakthrough as an actor.

Breathless was one of the earliest, most influential examples of French New Wave (nouvelle vague) cinema. Together with Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour, both released a year earlier, it brought international acclaim to this new style of French filmmaking. At the time, the film attracted much attention for its bold visual style, which included unconventional use of jump cuts.

According to The New York Times, Breathless is both "a pop artifact and a daring work of art" and even at 50, "still cool, still new, still - after all this time! - a bulletin from the future of movies". Roger Ebert included it in his list of great movies and said: "No debut film since 'Citizen Kane' in 1942 has been as influential", dismissing its jump cuts as the biggest breakthrough, and instead calling revolutionary 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."