There was before BREATHLESS, and there was after BREATHLESS. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for “Cahiers du cinèma.” With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, BREATHLESS helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same.
Presented here are excerpts from interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard, actors Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, and filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville, recorded for French television between 1960 and 1964.
Director Jean-Luc Godard once described BREATHLESS as “a documentary about Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg.” In this 2007 interview, documentary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker explores Godard’s statement.
In this 2007 video essay, film historian and author Jonathan Rosenbaum explores a number of the cinematic and literary references in BREATHLESS, elucidating what Jean-Luc Godard meant when he said he approached filmmaking as criticism.
After a much-publicized but brief stint in Hollywood, Jean Seberg was selected by Jean-Luc Godard to star in BREATHLESS. It was to become the legendary actress’s best-remembered role. This 2007 video essay by Mark Rappaport, director of the 1995 film FROM THE JOURNALS OF JEAN SEBERG, reveals the ...
In this 1993 documentary, director and television host Claude Ventura tracks down, over nine days, the locations and people involved in the making of BREATHLESS. Jean-Paul Belmondo, Claude Chabrol, Raoul Coutard, Pierre Rissient, Cécile Decugis, and other members of the cast and crew appear.