Sunday, January 8, 2017

Breathless (1960)

IMDb plot summary: A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, and Henri-Jacques Huet.

I have never found Godard palatable. His past two movies I've seen both landed in the lower echelons of my chart. One of my movie groups chose this as their movie to watch together this month, and a few folks said that this was the only Godard they liked, so I gave it a shot. It did not improve my opinion. Godard is everything people make fun of when they parody pretentious foreign films. He's incomprehensible and random and supposedly meaningful, but I can't find anything redeeming in it. It's confusing, not just in terms of plot (this one actually is fairly straightforward plotwise) but in terms of why the characters do what they do. Is he evoking an emotion? Is he tackling cinematic tricks? Is he exploring... something? Probably yes to all of those, but I'm so distracted by the awkwardness of every scene that I can't feel what he wants me to feel or notice what he wants me to notice. It's all so self-indulgent and pretentious and ridiculous and I can't take any of it seriously, much less enjoy it.

0.5 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Breathless < Cry-Baby
Breathless < Premonition
Breathless < Cinderella III: A Twist in Time
Breathless < They Were Expendable
Breathless > Ella Enchanted
Breathless > Soultaker
Breathless < The Prince & Me
Breathless < One Hour to Die: You Have All Been Poisoned
Breathless < The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Breathless < Watership Down
Breathless > Un Chien Andalou

Final spot: #2435 out of 2556

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