Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless Returns to Theaters in Summer
Not all of the great films that have become icons of cinema's history are given the pomp and circumstance of a theatrical re-release in celebration of its, presumably, long-lasting impact on the film industry. However, one such film is getting that special treatment, and it's not even a film made in the US, or for that matter, by an American filmmaker. Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (aka À bout de souffle) is being given the honor of a theatrical re-release in celebration of its 50th anniversary (news via Variety). The New Wave film was heralded as a groundbreaking innovation in filmmaking with its gritty cinematography and hyper jump cuts.
Rialto Pictures, which the LA Times cals "the gold standard of reissue distributors" handling re-releases of films from such acclaimed directors as Federico Fellini yo Akira Kurosawa, is responsible for the re-release of Breathless, which Rialto founder Bruce Goldstein says, "is in a class by itself. It's not only one of the most important films of the last half-century, still inspiring new generations of moviemakers, but it's just as fun and audacious as it was 50 years ago." Here's a brief synopsis for those who aren't familiar with Breathless:
"Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American."
The film's American premiere will be at Graumann's Chinese in Los Angeles as part of the first TCM Classic Film Festival (which runs from April 22-25), but the restored 35mm print already showed at the Berlin Film Festival last month. After it's festival premiere, it will get a commercial release starting May 28th at New York's Film Forum shortly followed by a nationwide release. Personally, I can't wait to check out this new 35mm print, so hopefully it makes its way near me (in Chicago). I remember seeing this fantastic film along with others like Citizen Kane and Battleship Potemkin in my history of cinema classes and I'm quite excited to see it again on the big screen. Anyone planning on seeing Breathless in theaters this summer?