Ben Oliver

Banner image for Breathless


I don’t know if I’m unhappy because I’m not free, or if I’m not free because I’m unhappy.
13 February 2022

It’s hard to disagree with the notion that most films can be categorized as ‘before Breathless’ and ‘after Breathless’. Even now it’s striking how unorthodox Godard’s film is, I can’t even begin to imagine what it would have looked like in 1960. While Jean-Paul Belmondo’s character seems oblivious to the rules of society, Breathless completely re-writes the rules of film making.

And yes, in case you were wondering, life in France generally involves chain smoking through various existential crises and constantly comparing yourself to Americans.

I went down to Picture House Social in Sheffield to see this; many thanks to Legs Eleven for putting the event on, it was a great night. It’s always a joy to see a classic on the big screen.