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Jean Seberg, smoking a cigarette at the Hotel de Suededuring filming of A bout de souffle (Breathless). bout de souffle (Breathless) is centred around a love affair between anti-hero Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a French petty criminal on the run from the police, and his American girlfriend Patricia (Jean Seberg), a student who sells the New York Herald Tribune on the Champs-Elysees. Patricia unwittingly hides him in her apartment as he simultaneously tries to seduce her and plan his escape to Italy. She eventually learns Michel is on the run and contacts the police, resulting in him being shot dead by the police on the street. Godard's first feature-length film is among the inaugural films of the French new wave.
The film was released the year after François Truffaut's Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows) and Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour (Hiroshima, My Love). Together, the three films brought international attention and acclaim to the nouvelle vague, and A bout de souffle (Breathless) was heralded for the bold monochrome visuals and its provocative, original style.