On San Francisco Chronicle's Worth Seeing List!
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One Week Only!"To become immortal. And then...die." Lip-stroking pug Jean-Paul Belmondo's on the run, shooting cops and stealing cars - as well as cash from the handbag of thickly-Iowa-accented, Herald Tribune-hawking girlfriend Jean Seberg; with the typically Gallic undertone of femmes vs. hommes as the couple engage in boudoir philosophy, staring contests, sous blanket tussles, and plenty of le smoking. Erstwhile Cahiers du Cinema critic Godard's debut feature turned a sketchy outline from critical confrere Francois Truffaut into one of the benchmarks of the New Wave, seemingly reinventing the cinema itself, and immediately rocketing Belmondo (in his ninth film) and Seberg (here beginning her European eminence following two Preminger flops in a row) to world stardom, and beginning Godard's decade of supreme hipness, of seemingly compulsive, and often outrageous innovation. The pace is non-stop - a better translation of the title is "out of breath" - thanks to the startling, then-revolutionary use of jump-cutting (when the first edit came in at 3 hours, New Wave godfather Jean-Pierre Melville - seen here as novelist "Parvulesco" - advised losing the subplots, but JLG instead did the unheard of: cutting freely within shots); while the "je m'en fous" attitude of both protagonist and film proved the prototype of movie cool that every would-be cineaste still aspires to. This new 35mm restoration, with freshly revised subtitles by Lenny Borger, is the first in Breathless history.
In French with English Subtitles
• New York Times "A Fresh Look Back at Right Now" —A.O. Scott
• San Francisco Chronicle "Breathless at 50: A chat with Raoul Coutard" —G. Allen Johnson
• San Francisco Chronicle "Worth Seeing: Breathless" —G. Allen Johnson, Mick LaSalle, Amy Biancolli