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Breathless (Blu-Ray) Blu Ray

| Blu Ray

Breathless, Jim McBride's 1983 remake of Au Bout de Souffle rewrites Godard's existential hipster as a vain, style-obsessed hood and in the process loses some of the point. Godard's hero was a translation and productive misunderstanding of a quintessentially American sort of delinquent; because it is a retranslation, Gere's intelligent, nervy performance as Jesse Lujack suffers by comparison, however admirable it is taken in itself. McBride's direction strokes Gere's face and body lovingly--his every foxy smile, or glance at himself in a mirror, is played for passionate significance. This is also a good-looking film: the back alleys of LA and sunset over the Mojave desert have rarely looked as good. Valerie Kaprisky's Monica is inevitably given secondary importance; the decision to make the woman who goes along with Jesse's wild final ride on a whim an exchange student makes her at once more and less like her equivalent in the Godard--she has a touching exoticism that is at the same time somehow beside the point. The DVD includes the original theatrical trailer. --Roz Kaveney

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On the run after killing a cop, small-time crook Jesse Lujack (Richard Gere) teams up with Monica (Valerie Kaprisky), a French architectural student he encounters in Las Vegas. Tempting Monica with the offer of a trip to Mexico, Jesse takes her along for the ride, but it isn't long before his criminal activities catch up with them both. Jim McBride directs this remake of Jean-Luc Godard's 'A Bout de Souffle'.

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