A Bout de Souffle - first thoughts

Maybe the clearest way to illustrate the difference between France and the US is that the American idea of Jean-Paul Belmondo is Richard Gere.

It's amazing how the two Godard's I have seen so far are both very similar and very different. The style is what's similar, mostly: the jump cuts, the acting style, the fascination with the sound of gunshots. The form is what's different. This is the film I should have watched with my parents, not just because it's linear and focused in a way "Masculin Feminin" was not, but also because of the wonderful touristic shots of Paris.

Of course, this doesn't mean I liked it any less. You can definitely feel Truffaut's touch in the quirkiness of the characters and in the logic of the central love story, and as you might now I absolutely love Jules et Jim, the only Truffaut film I've seen so far. And how can you NOT fall in love with Belmondo chain smoking through the film giving his best impression of Humphrey Bogart -albeit a bit too filled with youthful enthusiasm to be able to approach Bogie's cool. He's not conventionally handsome by anyone's definition, but there's something about him that makes you understand exactly how he can wrap any girl around his finger. And Jean Seberg, ah, Jean Seberg, she's such a lovely little pixie, hair cropped short, every feature so clearly delineated and so mobile.

There are wonderful scenes here. The two lovers kissing, then taking their sunglasses off, the interview with the novelist, I could go on.

The conclusion? I need to find a way to get a hold of Bande a Part.

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