Douglas Morrey
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Scenes from domestic life: 1960–65
in Jean-Luc Godard
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Jean-Luc Godard once famously remarked that writing film criticism was, for him, already a kind of filmmaking. A mixture of playfulness and reverent cinematic homage is to be found in the film language that Godard employs in A bout de souffle. The film became famous for its use of jump-cuts, and it may be difficult for today's viewers, familiar with the ultra-rapid editing of music videos and advertising, to appreciate how disruptive this technique appeared to contemporary spectators. The playfulness of À bout de souffle is visible, too, in the lengthy central scene between Michel and Patricia in the latter's hotel room which constitutes by itself around one third of the whole film. This tendency to balance his generic action narratives with extraordinarily long sequences representing the domestic life of a couple is one that characterises the whole of the first period of Godard's career.

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