By Ramona Fotiade
In this unique consultant to the movie, Ramona Fotiade analyses intensive its construction and reception, in addition to its mise-en-scène and enhancing. She situates À Bout de souffle in terms of Godard's filmography and demanding writings as much as 1960, concentrating on a story and visible discourse that's now pointed out with a particular strand in postmodern French cinema. She additionally explores the influence of Godard's early counter-narrative and visible thoughts at the self reliant American filmmakers and the French Cinéma du glance in the course of the Eighties and 1990s.
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Extra info for À bout de souffle
I arrived precisely at the end of an era, the end of the bourgeoisie who wanted to ignore reality. 15 Godard’s statement about À bout de souffle as a story without a theme that he developed starting from his interest in Belmondo’s presence (‘a block to be filmed to discover what lay inside’) needs to be interpreted in the context of the director’s overall narratorial strategy – including not only acting, but also dialogue, mise-en-scène and eventually post-production processes. 16 In discussing Godard’s distinction between the ‘story’ and the apparently absent ‘theme’ of his first feature, a preliminary terminological clarification is needed in order to refer the authorial avowed manipulation of both narrative and acting to the established notions of fabula and syuzhet that have long proven their worth in film theory and analysis.
21 Although he examines at length the impact of Serialism and Structuralism during the 1950s on parametric modes of narration in the cinema, Bordwell concludes that the wide range of filmmakers from different cultures and periods that have employed parametric principles cannot be subsumed to any one school or historically determined movement. He proposes instead an all-embracing notion of cinematic ‘modernism’ that privileges homogeneity over discrete individual variations or authorial style, and largely overlaps with the already established art-cinema/(classical) Hollywood opposition.
I was very vehement about it. 28 Besides a cameo appearance (in celebrated Hitchcock-style) as the passer-by who denounces Poiccard to the police, Godard also added a number of implicit references to his immediate entourage and to his favourite directors and films at the time. The protagonist is christened Michel – originally the name of the InterAmericana agent in Truffaut’s script, whom Godard chose to call Tolmatchoff, in memory of a long-time Swiss friend and impassioned cinéphile. The famous novelist that Patricia interviews at Orly bears the name of a young Romanian émigré whom Godard met at the Sorbonne-based Institute of Cinematography in 1949 (Jean Parvulesco).