Breathless ★★★★

Jean-Luc Godard's debut film is something of a twist on the America gangster movie. The film has a real style and swagger to it. Handheld camera movements often resulting in a frame that feels slightly off kilter, combined with frequent jump cuts, long scenes of dialogue and an overall feeling of improvisation. Like giving a middle finger to the conventional films that it takes inspiration from. Jean-Paul Belmondo delivers a completely unorthodox lead performance. His character is so absorbed within himself yet seemingly oblivious to his own situation and unable to hold a serious conversation. Of course it is everyone else that is stupid. The film takes on a freewheeling narrative, stemming from the opening which sees the lead steal a car and kill a police officer. Much of the film focuses on Belmondo's relationship with Jean Seberg's American journalism student, with the actual story sort of hanging over the narrative rather than driving it. Their dialogue touches on deep and meaningful at times, but otherwise just fills the space....and yet somehow the film is always captivating, mostly stemming from the raw energy and ingenuity on display.

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