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Ithaca College's Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival and Cinemapolis to Celebrate 50 Years of Jean-Luc Godards 'Breathless'

ITHACA, NY—Ithaca College’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF) will join forces with Cinemapolis in presenting “Breathless: 50th Anniversary Restoration.” The premiere screening of this limited engagement of Jean-Luc Godard’s legendary film will take place at Cinemapolis on Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. Elisabeth Lyon, a specialist in French cinema and a faculty member at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, will introduce the film and lead an audience discussion afterward. General admission is $9; tickets for seniors (64 and older) and children (12 and under) is $7.50. The first 30 people in line for the premiere screening will be admitted free.

“Modern movies begin here,” wrote Roger Ebert in the Chicago “Sun-Times” about “Breathless.” “No debut film since "Citizen Kane" has been as influential. . . . You cannot even begin to count the characters played by Pacino, Beatty, Nicholson, Penn, who are directly descended from Jean-Paul Belmondo’s insouciant killer Michel. What fascinates above all is the naiveté and amorality of Michel, a car thief who idolizes Bogart and pretends to be tougher than he really is, and Patricia (Jean Seberg), an American who peddles the Paris edition of the "New York Herald-Tribune" while waiting to enroll at the Sorbonne.”

One of the key films of the French New Wave, “Breathless” had a sensational reception when it premiered in 1960. According to Ebert, “the film’s bold originality in style, characters and tone made a certain kind of genteel Hollywood move quickly obsolete. Godard went on to become the most famous innovators of the 1960s.”

Launched in 1997, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival was an outreach project from the Center for the Environment at Cornell University. In 2005, the festival moved permanently to Ithaca College where it is housed in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies as a program to link intellectual inquiry and debate to larger global issues.

More information on “Breathless” is available at