Actors: Breathless Man

The Tricolor, a snifter of cognac, a flaring hem, a tilted skylight—these have been demoted to secondary symbols of France. The primary symbol is an image of a young man slouching in a cafe chair, his socks sagging over broken shoelaces, his shirt open to the waist, his arms dangling to the floor, where his knuckles drag. A Gauloise rests in his gibbon lips, and its smoke meanders from his attractively broken, Z-shaped nose. Out of the Left Bank by the New Wave, he is Jean-Paul Bel-mondo—the natural son of the Existentialist...

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