Jean-Luc Godard famously said, "All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun." And 50 years ago, he defended that thesis with the movie that Roger Ebert says changed cinema forever, cementing the French New Wave and influencing generations of filmmakers, from his own contemporaries to Quentin Tarantino and beyond. An exercise in style about a character obsessed with style, Breathless
is propelled by guerrilla camerawork, jump-cut editing, Jean-Paul Belmondo (with his great prizefighter's face), and the delicious Jean Seberg (who single-handedly must have spiked the circulation of the New York Herald Tribune). Even when the action comes to a standstill with Belmondo and Seberg whiling away an afternoon in bed, the film seems to be careening toward its inevitable conclusion. Still magnetic a half-century later, Breathless, in a new 35 mm print, opens a limited engagement at the Screenland Crossroads (1656 Washington, 816-421-9700).
— Brent Shepherd
Fri., Nov. 12, 2010