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A bout de souffle: the film of the book

Lack, R.-F.; (2004) A bout de souffle: the film of the book. Literature/Film Quarterly , XXXII (3) pp. 207-212. Green open access

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Not the cinematic adaptation of a literary pretext: A bout de souffle (1960) by Jean-Luc Godard is based on an original treatment. Nor the book of the film: A bout de souffle (1960) by Claude Francolin is the literary adaptation of a cinematic pretext, but it is a bad book, unworthy of the film (though it was deemed worthy of re-publication in a Belgian book club edition the next year). This article describes the intertextual import of a single, six-second shot: a film of a book. Ten minutes from the end of A bout de souffle, Michel Poiccard (Jean-Paul Belmondo) scrutinizes a pile of books; Patricia (Jean Seberg) is in the room, Mozart is on the record player. In close-up, as Michel’s point-of-view, the camera pans down a book cover, delivering the following information: ‘Maurice Sachs | Abracadabra | roman | nrf | “Nous sommes des morts en permission” | LENINE’. A thumb of the hand holding the book is also in shot. The quotation from Lenin, ‘We are dead men on leave’, is on a publicity band wrapped around the book.

Type: Article
Title: A bout de souffle: the film of the book
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Reprinted with permission of Literature/Film Quarterly @ Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD 21801
UCL classification:
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/5228
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