Breathless And Film Noir Analysis

2124 Words 9 Pages
I. Introduction

Darkness is an empty word. At least it is until it has context and meaning thrust upon it. Film noir is a name given to a series of films which originated in the United States around the 1940s. These films often followed a formula involving darkness, mysterious and troubled characters, nihilistic undertones, and a confound unfolding of the passage of time. Breathless, directed by Jean Luc Godard, was somewhat of a French-made parody of these American films, for instance, the main character, Michel, attempting to molding himself after Humphrey Bogart, and his lover, Patricia, encompassing the role of a femme fatale. Whereas, Pulp Fiction, directed by Quentin Tarantino, and released in 1994, is a sort of new-age film noir, with
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She places herself out of reach and entrances men, leading them into undesirable situations, whether through betrayal or deception. Patricia keeps Michel guessing during the entire film: teasing him throughout the film over whether she really loves him, whether she will sleep with him again, and whether she will escape with him to Italy. Both characters and the things in which they discuss all hold resemblance to the character dynamic of a Film Noir. Meanwhile, another aspect of Breathless which holds similarity to Film Noir is the contrast of a melancholy atmosphere and …show more content…
Film Noir is by definition a plot involving a crime, so inevitably it is riveting and exciting and suspenseful, however, it is also, by definition, a film encompassing the modernist outlook on life: bleak, aimless, and melancholy. Keeping that in mind, Michel spends the entirety of the film waiting to hear about his money, waiting to hear Patricia’s decision, and dodging the police. On the other hand, he and Patricia hole up in her apartment for much of the film, having sobering discussions and playing records. The contrast between the fast-paced and the slow-paced blend into each other, with the help of jump-cuts, unpredictable motives and circumstances, and mood-setting music. Furthermore, the ending of the film provides a stark contrast in pace, not only in atmosphere, but in character. In other words, Patricia coolly tells Michel that she stayed with him to see if she was in love with him, but since she is being cruel to him and called the police, it proves she is not in love with him. If she was truly in love with him, she would be able to overlook betrayal to save him, but since she is not in love with him, she could not. This logic was unexpected, because although the film did not lead the viewer to

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