Jean Seberg in Breathless (1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
“I don’t know if I’m unhappy because I’m not free, or I’m not free because I’m unhappy.”
Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless (1960, dir. Jean-Luc Godard)
“When I accepted the role, [Godard] gave me the script. Three little pages on which he’d written:
He leaves Marseilles.
He steals a car.
He wants to sleep with the girl again. She doesn’t.
In the end, he either lives or dies - to be decided.
That was it. So every morning, I learned about Poiccard’s further adventures. I had no idea what would happen to me that day. I found out each morning.”
Martial Solal - La Mort (Breathless/À bout de souffle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Martial Solal - New York Herald Tribune (via Breathless: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
“It’s been 40-plus years since that film, and every week I do an interview about this film,” Solal says. “Now, people are starting to like the music. Takes time. They’re deaf. They have big problems,” he jokes, before admitting, “The movie was important without the music.”
Since the two primary characters are so different—one a ruthless criminal, the other a feckless female student—Solal captured their personalities in music by using a very simple technique. “The way the two melodies are done, it’s interesting,” he says. “They are both five notes: one is coming from the low note to the high note; the other is exactly the contrary, using almost the same notes, with different, contrary figures, giving the opposite feeling. One makes you anxious; the other is romantic.”