A bout de souffle

I booked my Christmas weekend trip, which included the Megabus.  I’ll see how that goes.  At the end of the last lecture, I felt glad to get away from the students.  I left too late to get my burrito, so I had a burger before sitting down to watch Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” again.  It felt like the predecessor of Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction.”  Jean Seberg reminded me of Annette Bening and Sharon Stone, while I saw part of Sean Penn in Jean-Paul Belmondo.  I didn’t see much of a connection between Patricia and Michel as Patricia tried to talk about William Faulkner and Dylan Thomas with him.  I could imagine getting very bored and tired with such a woman, especially with the evidence of her rationalizations at the end.  I thought there was a bit of “Last Tango in Paris” at the end.  Of course, I had to wonder why Michel was hiding out in broad daylight out in the open on the streets of Paris when his photo was in the newspaper.  He lingered in front of a movie theatre looking at the photograph of Humphrey Bogart as “The Harder They Fall” was playing inside.  This movie was made a long time ago if people still walked down the streets selling copies of newspapers like the New York Herald Tribune.  Patricia had a lot of difficulty with her French vocabulary and pronunciation, as she kept asking what everything meant right until the end.  I would have felt like vomiting, too.  I thought she was like an American replacement for Audrey Hepburn out of “Roman Holiday” with her short hair.  She made observations about the French, that they said things were alike when they weren’t, and that one second means five minutes to them.  Jazz and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto made their way onto the soundtrack.  Patricia wanted to listen to the radio because she had heard her records so many times she knew them by heart.  Michel smokes a lot and reads newspapers.  He’s a criminal who hangs out.  He knows how to deal with parking lot attendants, but not the police or the fence.  I don’t know how Patricia ended up associating with a character like Michel, or why she would protect him from the police, or evade the police because for him.  How could she get through the window of the women’s restroom so quickly?  The script was based on a treatment by Francois Truffaut, and it does have the feeling of “Shoot the Piano Player.”  The iris shot was used, which is something we saw in Truffaut, and there were references to Laszlo Kovacs, although this is from Claude Chabrol’s “Leda” rather than the famous cinematographer.  Watching this movie again made me wonder what happened to Jean Seberg.  She appeared in “A Fine Madness,” “Paint Your Wagon,” and “Airport.”  Truffaut wanted her for “Day for Night,” but couldn’t contact her.  She apparently committed suicide on August 30, 1979.  Jean-Paul Belmondo is 83 years old now.  Jean-Luc Godard is still alive at age 85.  Some of the people who died on November 23 include Merle Oberon (1979), Roald Dahl (1990), Klaus Kinski (1991), Tommy Boyce (1994), Louis Malle (1995), Junior Walker (1995), Betty Comden (2006), Philippe Noiret (2006), and Larry Hagman (2012).  Today is a birthday for Robin Roberts (56).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 23, the first Superman movie, called “Superman and the Mole Men,” was released in 1951.  In 1988, Bill Murray’s “Scrooged” was released.  In 2012, Larry Hagman, who was Tony Nelson of “I Dream of Jeannie” and J.R. Ewing of “Dallas,” died from complications of acute myeloid leukemia at age 81.

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