French New Wave


François Truffaut

New Wave (French: La Nouvelle Vague) is a French film movement which emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. It is a form of European art cinema, and is often referred to as one of the most influential movements in the history of cinema. New Wave filmmakers were linked by their rejection of the traditional film conventions then dominating France, and by a spirit of iconoclasm. Common features of the New Wave included radical experimentation with editing, visual style, and narrative, as well as engagement with the social and political upheavals of the era. The term was first used by a group of French film critics and cinephiles associated with the magazine Cahiers du cinéma in the late 1950s and 1960s, who rejected the Tradition de qualité (‘Tradition of Quality’) of mainstream French cinema, which ’emphasized craft over innovation, privileged established directors over new directors, and preferred the great works of the past to experimentation.’ This was apparent in a manifesto-like essay written by François Truffaut in 1954, Une certaine tendance du cinéma français, where he denounced the adaptation of safe literary works into unimaginative films. Using portable equipment and requiring little or no set up time, the New Wave way of filmmaking presented a documentary style. The films exhibited direct sounds on film stock that required less light. Filming techniques included fragmented, discontinuous editing, and long takes. The combination of objective realism, subjective realism, and authorial commentary created a narrative ambiguity in the sense that questions that arise in a film are not answered in the end. … Some of the most prominent pioneers among the group, including François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Éric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, and Jacques Rivette, began as critics for the famous film magazine Cahiers du cinéma. Cahiers co-founder and theorist André Bazin was a prominent source of influence for the movement. By means of criticism and editorialization, they laid the groundwork for a set of concepts, revolutionary at the time, which the American film critic Andrew Sarris called auteur theory. … Bazin and Henri Langlois, founder and curator of the Cinémathèque Française, were the dual father figures of the movement. These men of cinema valued the expression of the director’s personal vision in both the film’s style and script. …”
Wikipedia
20 Essential French New Wave And Left Bank Films (Video)
Guardian – French New Wave film posters: ‘They broke the rules’
What is the French New Wave? (Video)
Criterion: French New Wave
YouTube: Video Essay: How the French New Wave Changed Cinema, How Jean-Luc Godard revolutionised film by applying Brechtian theor,

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