Breathless, a low-budget film, came to be regarded as one of the major accomplishments of the French New Wave cinema of the early sixties. It had a tremendous influence on French filmmakers and on world cinema in general. Beyond its significance in film history, it was also a film of considerable cultural impact. In Breathless, Jean-Luc Godard captured the spirit of a disillusioned generation and fashioned a style, which drew on the past, to parade that disillusionment.
In his introduction, Dudley Andrew brilliantly explains what Godard set out to accomplish in Breathless. He illuminates the intertextual and cultural references of the film and the tensions withiin it between tradition and innovation. This volume also features, for the first time in English, the complete and accurate continuity script of Breathless, together with Francois Truffaut's surprisingly detailed original treatment. Also included are an in-depth selection of reviews and criticism in French and English; a brief biographical sketch of the director's life that covers the development of his career, as well as a filmography and selected bibliography.
Dudley Andrew is a professor of film studies and comparative literature at Yale University. He is the author of Concepts in Film Theory, Andre Bazin, Flim in the Aura of Art, and other books on film.