Rialto Pictures returns Godard classic to bigscreen

Rialto Pictures is bringing Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless” back to life Stateside in celebration of the pic’s 50th anniversary this year.

The Gotham-based re-release specialist has acquired U.S. theatrical rights to the seminal French New Wave film and will bow a restored 35mm print at Hollywood’s Chinese Theater next month.

The new print will make its American premiere as part of the inaugural TCM Classic Film Festival (April 22-25). The restored version was first unveiled at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

A commercial theatrical re-release of “Breathless” kicks off May 28 at New York’s Film Forum, followed by a national rollout.

Along with “Breathless,” Rialto also picked up theatrical rights to two 1963 Godard films, “Le petit soldat” and “Les Carabiniers.” Deal was negotiated with Paris-based Pretty Pictures.

Written with Francois Truffaut, “Breathless” is Godard’s feature debut and toplines Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg.

“We’ve had some of our biggest hits with Godard’s amazing, innovative movies of the ’60s,” said Rialto founder and co-prexy Bruce Goldstein. “But ‘Breathless’ is in a class by itself. It’s not only one of the most important films of the last half-century, still inspiring new generations of moviemakers, but it’s just as fun and audacious as it was 50 years ago.”

The “Breathless” restoration is the film’s first and was supervised by Beatrice Valbin at StudioCanal. English subtitles were revised by film historian Lenny Borger, who also is working on a translation of Godard’s latest pic, “Socialisme.”

Rialto has shepherded classic films by Federico Fellini, Jean Renoir, Jules Dassin, Vittorio De Sica, Luis Bunuel, Alain Resnais, Akira Kurosawa and Jean-Pierre Melville.

Among its other Godard titles are “Contempt,” “Band of Outsiders” and “Masculine, Feminine.”

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