A Bout De Souffle

The film that was banned for 4 years. Why..? (original Finnish poster tagline)

In the 1950's, French critics were merrily writing for the influential 'Cahiers Du Cinema' when, with no experience, they decided to have a go at changing cinema. Thus was born the French 'Nouvelle Vague', a cinematic movement that worked against the accepted grain and laid down the groundwork for the films we watch nowadays. This is one of those films, Jean-Luc Godard's piece de resistance.

Jean-Paul Belmondo plays Michel Poicard, a Humphrey Bogart wannabe criminal who is forced to hide out with his American girlfriend (Jean Seberg) when he kills a cop. They plan their escape to Italy together, aware that the police are closing in on them continually. The story though, acts as background to the Franco-American conflict inherent in the story. This is both a homage to the American gangster movie, and a critique of its values and the effect it has upon real lives. What captivates even more than this though, is the film's daring style, the jagged editing, actuality and improvisational jazz, that both shocks and dazzles the viewer. While some of the effect has been tamed by the way these elements have become de rigeur nowadays, they still serve to surprising means.

Seminal, Impressive, Trend-setting. This is the kind of film that you must see if you ever want to say you know about cinema.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller


Fancois Truffaut


Jean-Luc Godard


Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Jean-Pierre Melville


Martial Solal


90 minutes






French, English


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