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memento_mori's Movie Reviews (203)

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Breathless ( Bout de souffle ) 
Le confort de l'amour.
4/4 stars

Often hailed as the classic that sparked the French New Wave, A Bout de Souffle succeeds in everything elementary, but leaves too much to comprehend the moral.

Jean-Luc Godard is a director that has been praised and praised and praised again, obviously having played a major role in French cinema. Thus, I thought I would express my perception of his debut, Breathless.

The acting is near perfect. Although the film is in French, I could frequently associate emotions and characteristics from the dialogue to the characters, which are excellently written by Godard himself. Many throwbacks to earlier scenes near the end and a great finale.

I would like to say this movie is well-constructed, but there is way too little for me to start delving into the characters. It starts by basically dive-bombing into the plot. Within five minutes, our main character has done everything and only then do we get going. Sometimes this works in films, sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't terrific either. My favorite part of the film is definitely the awkward, yet very real and touching lengthy scene in Patricia's apartment.

It has a very quirky, jumpy feeling. Everything is always in constant movement, and a recurring motif is the image of a person running frantically.

This movie felt like an Ingmar Bergman feature on drugs. It is waaaaay too quick and the story is wobbly. Everything happens in a split second and the direction isn't that fascinating, either. It could have taken its time to build atmosphere with music and long shots, and instead it got itself in a hurry, which I did not understand. The much-praised jump-cuts were more headache-inducing than fascinating.
What's the rush? Why not enjoy the countryside instead of quick-shooting it and giving a comment, then moving to the next scene?
The editing is obnoxious, the direction is poor and the constant juggling between mangled English and French was getting tiresome. Another classic status-holder I don't fully agree with.


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