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À Bout de Souffle

By a Tether / Ausser Atem

France 1960
produced by
Georges de Beauregard for Les Films Impéria, Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie (SNC)
directed by Jean-Luc Godard
starring Jean Seberg, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet, Roger Hanin, Van Doude, Claude Mansard, Liliane Dreyfus (as Liliane David), Michel Fabre, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Balducci, André S. Labarthe, François Moreuil, Liliane Robin, Gérard Brach, Philippe de Broca, José Bénazéraf
story by Francois Truffaut, screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, music by Martial Solal

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is a small-fry crook, more dreaming of making it big than having any real ambition, so he's stuck with car-jacking. But when he finds himself cornered by a cop and more or less accidently finds a handgun, he shoots the policeman ... and all of a sudden finds himself on the run. He figures he'll hide out in Paris, because Paris is a big enough city for him to get by undetected, and then there's Antonio (Henri-Jacques Huet), who owes him enough money to leave France for good altogether. And then there's also Patricia (Jean Seberg), an American student who presently tries her hand at journalism who Michel's madly in love with, even if he doesn't want to admit it to himself. Patricia isn't half as sure about Michel - sure she feels drawn to the man but turned away by his ultra-cool facade as well as his impulsiveness. Plus, she's more of a free spirit than Michel would like her to be. Anyways, when she learns he's in trouble, she sticks by him, trying to make it work despite everything - and only when she comes to the realization it's useless, she calls the police to snitch on him, in hope that he would make his escape and leave her life for good. But as soon as Michel's out of the house they're hiding out in, Antonio finally arrives with the money and a handgun he forces onto Michel for self-defense ... but when the police see the gun in his hand they just gun him down ...


À Bout de Souffle, seen by pretty much everybody as one of the key films of the nouvelle vague, is actually indeed just that, as it's probably the most revolutionary movie of the whole first wave of the nouvelle vague: Deeply rooted in American film noir and gangster movies from the low budget and of the 1940's (and thus the film is dedicated to B-film studio Monogram), the film is a deconstruction of these movies of old at the same time: Shot mostly guerrilla style in the streets of Paris, À Bout de Souffle is nevertheless high on style, introduces random jumpcuts to narrative filmmaking, is pop-culture savvy and with Jean-Paul Belmondo's Michel it introduces a whole new kind of cool to cinema. And where other nouvelle vague films and also Godard's later films often come across as heavy-handed and/or brain-heavy, this one is fun, too, and possesses a freshness to this day that many other films of the movement or the era simply fail to convey.

A must-see - but I guess everybody into film knows this already.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD