An Amazing moment in Godard’s Breathless

Written by Joe D on March 28th, 2011


I just watched  A Bout De Souffle on TCM and I noticed something that struck me as one of the most interesting moments in the film. Jean Seberg is at the airport at a press conference for an author who has just published a book. The author is played by Jean Pierre Melville, the great director and hero to the New Wave. Seberg tries to ask him a question but is overpowered by the other reporters shouting their questions. Finally she breaks through and asks “What is your greatest ambition?” Melville looks at her  through his cool aviator shades and after a beat says “To become immortal, then die.” Godard plays some film noir music on the soundtrack and Seberg breaks the fourth wall, looks directly into the camera as we dissolve to another scene. What a brilliant moment, it is the essence of filmmaking, films will live on far beyond their makers, expressing their thoughts for generations after the artist is dead. That is what Melville/Godard is saying and in a poetic way. Beautiful.

Check it out at 3:18