Jean-Luc Godard releases 60th-anniversary box-set edition of ‘Breathless’
Studio Canal has announced the release of a new 4K restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, and as a 4K UHD Limited Collector’s Edition with 12” vinyl original soundtrack by Martial Solal. On top of that, the package will include a 40-page booklet, poster and art cards to mark the 60th anniversary of the masterpiece.
The epitome of cinematic cool which inspired a generation of filmmakers from Quentin Tarantino and Tony Scott, to Lars Von Trier and Terence Malick, Breathless (À Bout De Souffle) features iconic performances from Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg as the central, most delightful and insolent couple in cinema history – young, effortlessly stylish, and in love in Paris.
Based on a story by Francois Truffaut and photographed by New Wave legend Raoul Coutard, Jean-Luc Godard’s film debut is a jazzy riff on film noir. With its non-stop pace Breathless reinvented the grammar of movies and spearheaded the French New Wave of filmmaking.
Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo) considers himself a suave bad guy in the manner of Humphrey Bogart with his cigarettes, hat, sunglasses and determined unconformity. While driving a stolen car he impulsively kills a policeman. Hiding out in his student girlfriend Patricia’s (Jean Seberg) Paris apartment he tries to pull together enough money to get the pair to Italy. But when Patricia learns that her boyfriend is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties.
Breathless has now been restored in 4K by Studio Canal with the help of the CNC, within the framework of the Selective Aid for the Digitisation of Cinematographic Heritage Works. This restoration was supervised by the laboratory L’Image Retrouvée. The teams restored Breathless from the original film negatives, which were originally shot on two types of film: Gevaert Belgium and Ilford Pancromatic. Due respect was given to these two different textures of film during the restoration process, resulting in a fully realized 4K restoration which allows audiences to enjoy the film in this new definition, with a full appreciation of the original artistic intentions of the Director.
Breathless was selected by Cannes Classics 2020 and will be screened at Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival in August earlier this year at the historic Piazza Maggiore, at the Lumière Film Festival, within their Cannes Classics section, and at select UK cinemas giving audiences the opportunity to enjoy New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard’s timeless classic on the big screen.