Since the creation of films, their main goal was to appeal to mass audiences. However, once, the viewer looks past the appearance of films, the viewer realizes that the all-important purpose of films is to serve as a bridge connecting countries, cultures, and languages. This is because if you compare any two films that are from a foreign country or spoken in another language, there is the possibility of a connection between the two because of the fact that they have a universally understanding or interpretation. This is true for the French New Wave films; Contempt and Breathless directed by Jean-Luc Godard, and contemporary Indian films; Earth and Water directed by Deepa Mehta. All four films portray an individual’s role in society using sound and editing.
Godard creates a unique editing style in Contempt and Breathless through the combination of long takes and jump cuts. Godard’s use of these two editing techniques express two separate ideas in regards to an individual’s place in society. In Contempt, Godard’s use of editing illustrates how an individual can exist separate from society. While in Breathless, editing conveys the idea of how society can isolate an individual.
The use of jump cuts within Breathless and Contempt was an unconventional technique during the French New Wave and still is today because it violates one of the rules of Classic Hollywood Style. Jump cuts create “…discontinuities that the perceptual system will not ignore because the stimuli fall outside of the accommodation ranges for perceptual continuity, then spatial coherence breaks down” (Berliner). Even though jump cuts are not aesthetically pleasing, Godard uses them for the deeper meaning of the films.
One of the main plot points in Breathless is the relationship between Michel and his American girlfriend, Patricia. The least story driven scene in the whole film occurs in a conversion between Michel and Patricia that lasts about twenty-five minutes. Godard films this scene in on long take however, there are points within the take where Godard cuts the film and a there is a jump. The long shot symbolizes the continuity of the scene; this signals to the viewer that Michel and Patricia have a love between them. However, discontinuity of the jump cuts juxtaposes the continuity of the scene and shows how even though Michel and Patricia are in a relationship; the extent of Michel’s crime creates a detachment between the two which is verified at the end of the film when Patricia betrays Michel and his dying words to her.
In the beginning of Breathless, Godard uses a long take with the tilt of the camera. This long take introduces the audience to the protagonist, Michel. Then, there are takes of Michel’s attempt to steal a car paired with the jump cuts of his accomplice but no one does anything to stop him. Once Michel steals the car, there is a long take of him driving through the countryside and while doing so, he talks directly to the camera ultimately breaking the...