Hi there – if you are in New York you must go see the coolest movie of the summer – Breathless – now playing exclusively at Film Forum. I went yesterday and really enjoyed myself. It’s playing through next Thursday, June 17th in a fantastic restored print…the sprucing up was supervised by the original cinematographer in celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary. I’ve seen a nice print of Breathless before – (on the big screen at the famous Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, London…back when the Everyman was a repertory cinema showing loads of great old classics) – but this new print is by far the best print of the film I’ve ever seen.
In reviewing this limited 50th anniversary release, the Times film critic A.O. Scott says that Breathless lacks a “coherent plot” and suggests instead that “style is everything” in the film. My question to Mr. Scott would be – Are you sure you’re not thinking of Contempt? Now there’s a Godard movie that’s all kinds of incomprehensible but with style to burn. Breathless, on the other hand has one of the most linear and easy-to-understand plots of any Godard film. It’s true though that you don’t want to get so lost in reading subtitles and following along that you take your eyes off of the film’s central allure – a young Jean Seberg wandering Paris in the summer of 1959. You’ll see the pixie cut, vintage convertibles, the Champs-Elysees, striped dresses, white gloves, cigarettes, stolen kisses, men’s fedoras worn androgynously in post-coital hotel beds…and the inspiration behind every editorial shoot that Sienna Miller has ever done. Hurry! xx Mr. Newton