Nouvelle Vague – À bout de souffle (1960)

A couple of years ago I wrote an essay on avangarde cinema, and one of the main characters was, of course, Jean-Luc Godard. His first feature film, À bout de souffle (Breathless), released in 1960, is one of the most influential examples of the Nouvelle Vague cinema (French new wave). It also marked the debut of Jean-Paul Belmondo, one of Godard’s main leading men from now on.

The film gained attention with its bold visual style, witty script and the interesting new way of using jump cuts at that time.

Take a trip back to the French 1960s and watch À bout de souffle. If only for some of these words:

  •  – What is your greatest ambition in life?

            – To become immortal. And then die.

  • I don’t know if I’m unhappy because I’m not free, or if I’m not free because I’m unhappy.
  • When we talked, I talked about me, you talked about you, when we should have talked about each other.
  • When the French say a second, they mean five minutes.
  • Women will never do in eight seconds what they would gladly agree to do in eight days.
  • You Americans are dumb. You admire Lafayette and Maurice Chevalier. They’re the dumbest of all Frenchmen.
  • We’re hiding like elephants when they’re happy.
  • I told you being afraid is the worst sin there is.

Photo via

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.