Visual Analysis of Breathless (Godard)
3850 words 16 pagesBREATHLESS by Jean-Luc Godard
Aesthetics and Visual Analysis Paolo Favero Tim Somers s0111755 Film Studies & Visual Culture
BREATHLESS by Jean-Luc Godard
A visual analysis by Tim Somers Aesthetics and Visual Analysis Fall term 2012
"Ne va pas montrer tous les côtés des choses, garde-toi une marge d'indéﬁni." Jean-Luc GODARD
It isn't hard to see why Breathless (original title: À Bout de Soufﬂe) manages to distinguish itself from general ﬁlm, being now or at the time it came out. Despite being the ﬁrst ﬁlm by inﬂuential French director Jean-Luc Godard, its visual style and unconventional approach has led to the ﬁlm being labeled as historically signiﬁcant and brought international acclaim to the French New Wave movement. It …show more content…
The woman asks if she could accompany him, but Michel refuses. This as well would have rarely been seen in Hollywood cinema, where early connections between female and male characters often stay alive throughout the entire storyline.
false feeling of proximity in shot - reverse-shot
The following sequence is equally particular in reinventing or ignoring the conventions of classical cinema. We follow Michel driving off in the car he just stole. He directly addresses the audience, comfortably breaking the fourth wall with his assumptions about his surroundings. He sings, insults other drivers and discusses future plans accompanied by a non-continuous montage of jump cuts consisting of Michel, the cars he passes by and the countryside. Aside from one external shot of the car speeding by the scene is ﬁlmed by a handheld camera in the passenger seat of the car. The scene is inviting - it invites the viewer into the personal world of Michel - almost to make an at ﬁrst glance unlikable character (moderately) likable. Classical cinema would skip the driving sequence as being non-important, here it is a necessary view in the nature of Michel Poiccard.
Michel, breaking the fourth wall
Michel attracts the attention of patrolling police ofﬁcers and a chase ensues, ﬁlmed like before with handheld camera. The scene is accompanied by a high tempo, upbeat piano shufﬂe which together with the jump cuts and rapid handheld camera movements - to