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Breathless

Year: 1960
Production Co: Les Productions Georges de Beauregard
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Writer: Jean-Luc Godard/Francois Truffaut
Cast: Jean Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg

It's always been fascinating to me that the French New Wave homaged/parodied what Hollywood was doing and ended up becoming a much more beloved film movement than anything Hollywood had ever done. Films like this one and it's contemporaries like 8 1/2 are the crème de la crème for the film literati, and they're simply riffing on the institutions Hollywood was built on (Godard himself said all you needed for a movie was a girl and a gun).

The story is really nothing memorable. A car thief is cornered by a cop out in the country, kills him and then goes on the lam, pursuing a young American girl (Seberg, the progenitor of the pixieish Hepburn/Farrow look that became so popular) and trying to convince her to flee to italy with him.

But it's all about the style and not the substance. When you enter the hallowed halls of Godard's talent, it's his Kevin Smith work, referencing movies and directors he loves. Like most films that are seemingly famous way above their station in life, it created something we see all the time now. In this case, it was the jump cut. If you're a film buff you have to see it, but if you also love blockbusters you'll spend most of it wondering what it's supposed to be teaching you.

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