Breathless (A bout de Souffle) (1960)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
My feelings about the French New Wave are mixed. I can see how their introduction of new and different film techniques was important, and their influence is still observable over fifty years later. I also appreciate the light-hearted tone of some of the films. Truffaut's The 400 Blows is the one I have enjoyed the most (so far), and one of the reasons for that is the character of Antoine, whose listlessness mixed with childish youth made for interesting viewing.
I am not at all a cool person, and Godard's film is renown for its coolness, so I wondered if I would have the same reaction I have had to other 'cool' films; that of being simply an observer, detached from the film's detachment. My prediction was correct, and even more so, as the characters, especially Michel, rather got on my nerves (though not as much as the three leads in Jules et Jim).
The film doesn't probe into the characters of Michel and Patricia, and had little of a plot. This is not always an issue, but unlike the apparently plotless 400 Blows, I didn't care about the two main characters and what happened to them. Surface is what we are presented with, and though it is often beautiful to look at, and playful in its approach, after the film ended I found it hadn't touched me.
It is good to have crossed off another biggie of film history, and see the challenge to established, traditional cinema; breaking the rules can work. I am just not much of a rule-breaker.