Jean-Luc Godard is one of the most controversial and prolific film- makers in history. Born in France in 1930 to a wealthy family from Switzerland, Godard lived in his parent's native country during World War II. In the late 1940's he returned to study ethnology at the Sorbonne in Paris. During this time he became friends with a group of young film-makers. These directors, Claude Chabrol, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer and Jacques Rivette, along with Godard, explored new possibilities in cinema. Because of Godard radical views of film and his obsessions with cinema, his parents cut off his allowance. .
Forced to support himself by committing petty thefts, Godard used his experiences in his films about small time crooks. An example of this is his film Breathless (1959), where he also used many well-known New Wave techniques that made him one of the most influential directors in history. Some of the techniques Godard implemented include the use of jump cuts, handheld cameras and portable tape machines.
In 1959, Jean-Luc Godard released his first feature film Breathless. In this film, he used several technical characteristics of the New Wave. Probably the most noticeable of these was the use of jump cuts in the rough style of editing. Jump cuts were used to break the continuity of the audience's experience while viewing the film. .
One example of a jump cut is shown in the opening scene, which shows Michel, the main character, stealing a car and driving down the road. In one shot the audience sees what looks like a big truck driving down the road, then it cuts to show two hitchhikers walking along side the road, then another edit shows Michel meeting two policemen. .
Another scene that uses jump cuts shows Michel and his American girlfriend driving through the streets of Paris. In this long scene the camera never moves as it stays focused on the female character. Since the background of the scene is moving, with every edit there is a jump cut.