A Synopsis of the French New Wave Cinema Breathless

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  • Topic: French New Wave, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard
  • Pages : 4 (1279 words )
  • Download(s) : 252
  • Published : April 17, 2008
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“French New Wave”: Breathless (1959)

The phrase “New Wave” was a blanket term given to a materializing film movement in Europe in the late1950’s and 1960’s, mainly in France, Italy, and England where an abrupt manifestation of brilliant films emerged. This movement consisted of two groups of directors, the Cahiers , majorly consisting of critics turned filmmakers and the Left Bank who consisted of individuals who went straight into filmmaking. Jean-Luc Godard was within the Cahier division. In collaboration with Francois Truffaut, Godard’s highly acknowledged film Breathless became a poster film for the French New Wave and experienced critical and financial success that enabled the movement to flourish. “New Wave filming techniques depended on more than shooting quickly on location, however they altered the conventions of their shoots, looking back to neorealist techniques, but combining what they learned from Rossellini with what they could learn from new documentary filmmakers” (Neupert 39). With a new style pertaining to editing and narrative structure, that mixed many different ideas and cinematic principles, Godard is a highly acclaimed filmmaker that introduced a new style and various techniques to the filmmaking industry.

In the film Breathless, a young man Michel Poiccard constructs himself after Humphrey Bogart. “The remarkable thing about the film is not just its simple story but its Bogartesque character: brazen, charming, free, refusing to warp emotions into words or conduct in laws” (Kawin and Mast 412). Throughout the film, Michel is seen doing various what we would call today to be normal in character in that he personifies an antagonist when he demonstrates merely shooting, stealing, and using individuals as something daily. As the film proceeds, Michel is simply detached from the world in which he lives. After meeting with Patricia Franchini, his American girlfriend in Paris, Michel stays hidden under her watch while she is...
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