Patricia: What’s your greatest ambition in life?
Parvulesco: To become immortal, then die.

Breathless (1960)


“…that’s what happens when you immerse yourself too fully in any vastness, you eventually become part of it, part of the landscape, quite literally.”

—Chloe Aridjis, Sea Monsters

Aridjis’ novel and Godard’s iconic mark on the French New Wave moment share a listless spirit. There’s a poetic meandering and an artful navel-gazing at work in both.

With this pairing, you’ll find:

  • Faces communicating where languages fail
  • Superficiality on the cusp of depth
  • Smart, young women deliberately selecting fruitless detours
  • Lethargic exploration
  • The intersection of mundanity and impetuous, youthful romanticism 
  • Aesthetics superseding plot
  • Building intricate sandcastles in spite of (because of?) their fleeting nature
  • Waiting for a relationship to be important enough to overtake your life
  • Refusing clear warnings, whether color-coded flags or uniformed cops
  • How a sense of adventure can be more thrilling than its result

You’re left with the sense that these characters prefer to make decisions like the book’s Luisa chooses trees. “In general I preferred plants with branches, they were more expressive, but I couldn’t help feeling affection for these armless trees. Simply a long trunk ending in fireworks of leaves.”


?? Read This, Watch That Bonus Round  ??

Here, in this virtual space, nobody’s telling you how to feel. Some people are busier than ever. Some have developed strange hobbies. Some of you are experiencing serious grief and trauma. And some haven’t noticed much of a lifestyle change at all. 

Regardless, we all need to escape into some good art so we can forge ahead with some kind of sanity.

With that in mind, below are additional book and movie pairings that’ll help you leave a permanent indent on your couch.

  • Imaginary Museums by Nicolette Polek (Soft Skull) & Shadows in Paradise (1986)
  • Tiny Crimes anthology edited by Michel and Nieto (Catapult) & The Conversation (1974)
  • Five Windows by Jon Roemer (Dzanc) & The Long Goodbye (1973)
  • The Dominant Animal by Kathryn Scanlan (MCD x FSG Originals) & Gates of Heaven (1978)
  • Juliet the Maniac by Juliet Escoria (Melville House) & Blue Velvet (1986)

Stay home, everyone.