|Director Jean-Luc Godard|
If you have never seen, or heard of BREATHLESS, you are missing out on film history. Like the description says on the box, "There was before BREATHLESS, and there was after BREATHLESS." That pretty much says it all. With all the energy of a 1940s' American gangster B-movie, it tells the simple story of Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a French petty street thief, who steals a car and kills a policeman, while at the same time pursuing a naive American girl Patricia (Jean Seberg). She is wary of Michel's intentions and questions his lack of ambition, but proving that nice girls have a thing for bad boys, Patricia spends time with him in Paris before turning him in to the police. Using ragged editing techniques, handheld cameras, and a musical soundtrack that seems out of sync with the action, Godard succeeds at constantly reminding his audience that his film is an artificial reality having little to do with actual reality, but at the same time, drawing the audience into this fast-paced, madcap world of love and crime.
|Actress Anna Karina in VIVRE SA VIE (1962)|
This Criterion upgraded edition includes a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, audio commentary featuring film scholar Adrian Martin, video interview with film scholar Jean Narboni, conducted by historian Noël Simsolo, television interview from 1962 with actress Anna Karina, excerpts from a 1961 French television exposé on prostitution, Illustrated essay on La prostitution, the book that served as inspiration for the film, stills gallery, director Jean-Luc Godard’s original theatrical trailer, new and improved English subtitle translation, and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Atkinson, interviews with Godard, a reprint by critic Jean Collet on the film’s soundtrack, and Godard’s original scenario.
Sometimes I'm amazed that most people have never heard of Godard, or any of his films. These played such an important role on influencing the next wave of film directors that would transform Hollywood films and make it art. Directors Robert Altman, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian DePalma and Martin Scorsese have all stated how important Godard was and how their lives were never the same after seeing his films. It is important to inform people that there are films out there that need to be rediscovered, that need to be shown, that need to be talked about, and that need to be remembered. If you are reading this and you're interested in seeing these films, than I have done my job. Just make sure you share these films with the people in your life. After all, movies bring people together.
To purchase Godard's films and other DVD's, Blu-Rays, etc, visit http://www.criterion.com/
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!