Jean Seberg, Breathless
Credit: Breathless: Everett Collection

”It’s life,” says the fugitive cop killer (Jean-Paul Belmondo) to his American girlfriend (Jean Seberg), who has just told him how much she hates informers (she will inform on him in the morning). ”Informers inform. Burglars burgle. Murderers murder. Lovers love. Isn’t the Place de la Concorde beautiful?” Right there in Breathless, the breezy, biting, breathless fatalism that made Jean-Luc Godard’s debut feature a romantic slap in the face to filmgoers and filmmakers alike in 1960. This restored and digitally ”revived” print of the French new-wave classic resharpens the edges of all those groundbreaking jump cuts and heightens the movie’s double-barreled sense of l’amour fou (Belmondo’s for Seberg, the director’s for old Hollywood movies), but the extras are scanty, tant pis. Critic-historian David Sterritt’s commentary track is good and reverent, and that’s the problem; in a perfect world, someone would have cajoled that shaggy old radical, Godard himself, into poetically deconstructing his own baby.

  • Movie
  • 90 minutes