Thursday, March 22, 2012

Facebook 30 Day Movie Challenge

Yay, double digits!
Day 10: Favorite Foreign Film-A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) 
I first watched Jean-Luc Goddard's A Bout de Souffle (1960) in my introduction to cinema class sophomore year and instantly fell in love. There is just something about French cinema that I (and I feel many others) hold in a higher regard than any other country. There is just something so elegant about the French people and their language and culture that makes their films so enjoyable to watch. Also, the French seem to understand that cinema is an art form and they take their movies very seriously.
What I like so much about A Bout de Souffle is that it is so different from any other movie I've seen. I believe that its innovation still holds up today. Goddard's use of jump cuts and breaking the forth wall are used expertly and really makes for a new film experience. I love the homages to Hollywood films and actors, especially the reverence to Humphrey Bogart.
Jean Seberg is fantastic as the American in Paris. She is beautiful, self-deprecating, and confident all at the same time. Her gorgeous features make her seem as if she belongs in France and I want every single outfit she wears in the film.
Jean-Paul Belmondo is a man who can only exist in France. He is equal parts charming, cunning, and debonair. He is also a bit hapless and reckless at times, but it all works. He plays the character Michel with perfection, making you both smack your head at his stupidity and cheer on his "plans" for the sake of wanting to see them work.
The story of A Bout de Souffle itself is also great. It meanders and loses focus without becoming uninteresting. At times it is completely irreverent, but that comes with the nature of French New Wave. It is a genre that I definitely would like to see more films from.
Honorable mentions go to Pan's Labyrinth, a Spanish film which is another country I like films from for their use of magical realism, Amelie because who doesn't love the adorable French girl just looking for love, and Raise the Red Lantern, a film that is both haunting and beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment