“The argument from illusion” occupied an important place in the Cartesian philosophy of René Descartes; That is, when the questioner asks, Why do you love me? The answer is to say, I love you because I love you! The film Breathless (1960) is filled with this “simplest difficult dilemma”. Jai Luke Godar applies here his famous quote This cinema has a beginning, a middle and an end… But not in order!
According to the author’s theory, the producer is the only signature in the cinema. His signature is visible throughout the film. He was the main “writer” of “Breathless”. The film was shot with risk even after the uproar from critics before the film was made, the producer went bankrupt. Gadar didn’t want to read the script. In the synopsis of the scenario, he says, here one is always afraid of death, the other is not afraid of death.
The rhythm of the words above can be understood when the film begins. The post-war period, the 1960s, was the height of the American western and the distributor Monogram brought the western genre to France. Nothing new has been seen in French cinema before. What’s new? Camera action in a new way, different material from Western movies in a satellite way (write that later), storytelling style. This new style is the ‘Nouvelle Vah’ or the French New Wave. ‘Breathless’ is one of Nouvelle Bhag’s creations.
At the start of the film, the name ‘Monogram Pictures’ comes in the dedication. Why, I wrote above. Then, when the title of the film in French appears on the screen, “à bout de souffle”, the text seems to protrude on both sides. We don’t know the first warning of a movie giving only the name. The wonder of conveying the essence of the whole story with just the name of the film can be seen in the star sign under the ‘Y’ of our film ‘Nayak’ or the typographic design of ‘Pather Panchali’.
Not only the director, the producer, but also some actors appeared as “original” in the category of novels. Belmondo is the Western hero of this film. Who is a morally worthless car thief. The girl who picked him up, he stole the car and ran away from her. Seeing the sun shining, he wanted to shoot the sun. But when the police chased him, he shot them as he escaped. Here in Breathless, Godar shows the fantasy of shooting Surya and the illusion of reality of killing the police. Here’s a close-up of the gun button spinning, suggesting the western style of monograms.
Jumpcut is not only in our Bengali films… As the hero Jaseem grows up, Belmondo also escapes from London and settles in France, we understand him from the scene of Notre Dame. This movie ends in three days. Starting with Notre Dame one day, the Eiffel Tower the next, and the “Irish Fed” was used to mark the end of every significant event.
Belmondo originally came to his lover Partisia, alias Jean Seberg. Partisia’s striped clothes, talking accents, and city girls are all Western. Civic life, urbanization… all these manifestations are significant elements of Breathless. But what is the main ingredient? It can be difficult to answer in a few words.
It is only in this film that a strange love story hits places. This love is asked many times, will you go with me to Rome? This Rome is only a city? Or romance, a love proposal! The proposal that Partesia cannot accept! Where is the uncertainty!
Both see themselves several times in the mirror! It’s as if there was no “acquaintance” between them, even in this long acquaintance. Belmondo started doing various things risking his love life to his lover, and because the lover doesn’t want to get close physically, he (Belmondo) abused him in his heart!
Both frankly say whose bedfellow is… and get bored in an instant, thinking – has anyone touched like me?
So how is this love? As Belmondo said, I love you, but not as you think…
We don’t know how it is… The city of Paris is drowning in this love… The camera goes through all the architecture of Paris with the melody of Mozart… Architecture of human relations! As if the love of all the buildings in the whole city sang together, there can be confidence in some songs… and only love in some songs!
Here, the “Franco-American” pact is suddenly satirized by the Franco-American ethnic identity of Jean and Belmondo. An interview scene with Pervulesco portraying Pierre Melville himself, an Arab woman with people from different countries, Pervulesco’s witty mimicry are some examples of the film’s politics.
But a dialogue comes to mind when you ask Pervulesco what his greatest fear is. He stopped for a moment and said to be immortal and then die. This film is very political, very romantic. This romanticism is intensely physical, mixed with an intense nationalism.
This film is not very ordinary. Again possibly very common. Like this confused life of mine! Where I see myself every day in the mirror… I look my loved ones in the eyes, I can’t recognize them! Where hatred accumulates in the moments before death… Bitterness, pain and intense love! Why is love so strange? Because there is no happy love?