55 years after it's premiere-- Breathless (1960) still has that spontaneous element of cool.
With young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg-- the film by Jean-Luc Godard helped launch the French New Wave-- ensuring cinema would never be the same.
Decades later the film has become a fashion icon. The cool swagger of Belmondo, and countless editorials-- inspired by the free-spirited Jean Seberg. The young actress-- pixie haircut-- attired in t-shirt and slim black trousers, selling the New York Herald-Tribune along the Champs-Élysées? It still makes for a great fashion shoot.
"A Bout de Souffle"-- the original title-- has remained contemporary and very chic. Yes, the cars are definitely 1950's Paris-- but the characters could be straight from Instagram. Selfies shot in the bathroom mirror-- or snapped outside the Metro emulating the cool of Bogart.
What Godard captured-- and what makes Breathless a classic-- is that spontaneity. Those carefree-- impetuous-- even impulsive scenes-- strung together like a social media feed.
Godard dispenses with complicated technique-- and captures the moment-- all continuity out the window.
Vive le jump-cut!
For more info on the French New Wave:
Raymond Cauchetier was set-photographer for some of its most iconic films.