Friday, May 28, 2010

Still "Breathless" at 50

There is a place where you are completely free to revel in the beauty of Paris and Jean Seberg. A place where the anti-hero is actually cooler than the "guys in the movies" he's trying to imitate. It's a place effortlessly soaked in the rhythms and nuances of a time and place, with the unmistakable sights, sounds and sex appeal of vintage Paris still ringing true to present day. More than a place, it's a phenomenon of sorts, riddled with countless cultural references, but still entirely original with each new visit. In this place, coherence and continuity are substituted for effortlessly cool obscurity and incoherence. Car chases. Cigarettes. Women. Crime. Existential questions. The Champs Elysees! It's everything a movie should be, and everything it shouldn't. It's a timeless piece of cinema that, for a magical 90 minutes, makes no sense and yet makes all sense, transcending all relevance and reference to become something that is the pinnacle of what cool was and what cool will forever be...leaving everyone in it's path altogether breathless.