The French New Wave spends July at Cinematheque Ontario

Jean Seberg in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless
Jean Seberg in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless

When Stuart Murdoch, the sad singing Scotsman best known for fronting Belle and Sebastian, met his wife, he left her Breathless.

Says the New York Times Magazine: “As a courtship present, Murdoch made her a replica of the New York Herald Tribune T-shirt Seberg wore in the opening shot of Breathless.”

Cute, right? But then: “‘I may have also done that for an earlier girlfriend,’ Murdoch admitted sheepishly.”

Ah yes. How appropriate. Like Murdoch’s women, all fashionable lovers of French New Wave know the delight of discovering a genre made exactly, exquisitely, for them—the super-chic haircuts, the striped shirts and plaid minis, the smoky-eyed (and forever smoking) gamines—only to realize they’re just the latest suckers for the lovely clichés of Parisian art-house cinema.

But don’t let that stop you from falling: this summer, the Cinematheque at the AGO is screening gorgeous pics by Godard and his precocious coterie of peers. The series opens tonight with Une Femme est Une Femme, starring Chanel model-turned-actress Anna Karina, followed by the widely beloved Breathless. But the real gem’s on screen tomorrow: Truffaut’s brilliant, ebullient Jules et Jim charts the course of a bizarre love triangle over a quarter-century, with laughing, dancing, and running in funny hats all the way. Jeanne Moreau plays a woman who’s forward in all things, from her slapdash fashion to her feminist ideals.

Other stylish must-sees include Pierrot Le Fou, one of Godard’s funniest, most straightforward films (which still doesn’t mean “easy”) on July 7, Band of Outsiders (the one that inspired Bertolucci’s smart, hyper-sexed teens in The Dreamers) on July 13, and Lola (a FASHION editor’s favourite) on July 25.

Regular ticket prices are $10.14 for non-members, $5.90 for members and students. All screenings are held at the AGO’s Jackman Hall, 317 Dundas St. W. For more info or to order tickets, go to cinemathequeontario.ca or call 1-877-968-FILM.

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