ACADEMY CELEBRATES FRENCH NEW WAVE WITH PHOTO EXHIBITION AND SCREENING OF GODARD’S “BREATHLESS”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a recently restored 35mm print of “Breathless” (“À bout de souffle”) on Friday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The screening is presented in conjunction with the opening of the Academy’s new exhibition “Photos de Cinéma: Images of the French New Wave by Raymond Cauchetier.” Cauchetier was the set photographer for this and many other key titles of the French New Wave movement. There will be special evening gallery hours from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and immediately following the screening.
“Breathless” (1960) launched a global passion for “La Nouvelle Vague” (“The New Wave”) and made actors Jean Seberg and Jean-Paul Belmondo international stars. The film also became an inspiration for a generation of legendary French filmmaking talent.
Writer-director Jean-Luc Godard made his feature film debut with this now classic work. François Truffaut conceived the story, Claude Chabrol served as the artistic supervisor, and Jean-Pierre Melville appears in the role of the writer, Parvulesco.
The film’s cinematographer, Raoul Coutard, supervised the creation of this new print in 2010, for the 50th anniversary of the original French release date.
Since “Breathless” impressed audiences and filmmakers alike with its jazzy take on the American crime film, Godard has continued to write and direct challenging and sometimes controversial films, cementing his reputation as one of the seminal modernists in the history of cinema. He is credited with having influenced numerous contemporary directors, including Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh and Quentin Tarantino. Godard received an Honorary Award from the Academy in 2010, inscribed “For passion. For confrontation. For a new kind of cinema.”
“Photos de Cinéma: Images of the French New Wave by Raymond Cauchetier,” which includes production photographs from “Breathless,” is the first exhibition outside of Europe to showcase Cauchetier’s motion picture work. On view will be 125 newly made, black-and-white prints from Cauchetier’s own 35mm negatives. The printing was personally overseen by Cauchetier, now in his 90s, at his preferred lab in Paris. Other films represented in the exhibition include “Adieu Philippine,” “Baisers volés” (“Stolen Kisses”), “Jules et Jim,” “Lola” and “La peau douce” (“The Soft Skin”). “Photos de Cinéma” is open to the public through June 24 in the Academy’s Grand Lobby Gallery in Beverly Hills. Regular viewing hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free.
Tickets for “Breathless” on March 23 are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at http://www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. All seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit http://www.oscars.org.