The movie Breathless (1960) directed by Jean-Luc Godard is still considered to be a milestone event in the history of world cinema and a remarkable example that illustrates the main tendencies of the French New Wave, a revolutionary moviemaking style that violated all traditions and standards conventional at that time.
The French New Wave was a movement known for its innovative, energetic and self conscious approach to creativity. Breathless was an immediate success as it appeared in the tideway of a new approach and showed a new track for film directors. The innovative forms and techniques of movie-making which make Breathless sound personal are the priority in the movie and lead it astray from any classical conventions.
While driving, Michael keeps reflecting on the surroundings, relationships and plans, though any of his allusions are not referred to afterwards. Film-making comes to the fore and there are even the scenes when Michael speaks directly to the camera. The French New Wave film directors wanted the viewers to remember that a movie is mere fiction filmed to be shown to the audience.
It is perceived as an echo of real life in the real time with the heart beat of real people. Even an arrogant and rebellious criminal looks attractive and makes the audience like him and feel sorry for him. It is implied that everything in life is ambiguous. The main characters appear in the film without any introduction. The names of some characters are not mentioned at all and their identities or motivations remain unclear for the viewers, like a lady who distracts the officer to help Michael steal the car.
The movie with its inimitable flow and rhythm serves as a great illustration of an innovative approach introduced by the French New Wave movement. It is a remake of conventional stories presented through an absolutely new prism of self-reflection and defiance to conventions.