I don’t know how I can call myself a cinephile when this is the first time I have ever seen a film by Jean-Luc Godard. So many people talk about him as being this ‘great director’ and about À Bout de Souffle as being this great debut film. So it was high time that I crossed this off of my list.
After watching a film like this I always enjoy looking at some of the retrospective reviews. For many it is ranked alongside Citizen Kane as one of the most influential film debuts of all time. Also, À Bout de Souffle is one of those key films of the French New Wave and a favourite of Quentin Tarantino.
With the exception of Cléo de 5 à 7 I still have not found a French New Wave film where I understand all the hype. It’s the narrative style, the jump cuts and the general feeling of ennui. Just leaves me cold if I cannot enjoy the central character – and I really did not like Michel in this. What an insufferable arse with a Humphrey Bogart complex.
It’s interesting to see this film when it comes to film history. However I just found it monumentally empty. I think that the character of Michel is meant to come off as cool and detached, as is the style of these French New Wale male protagonists, but in this day and age he’s just a bit of a pig. A pig that murdered a policeman in the opening sequence.
Probably one of those things where I expected more from the film I guess. Hey ho. There’s still 400+ of these to wow me I guess.