- What is the French New Wave?
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- What is the French New Wave?
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New Wave filmmakers were linked by a spirit of iconoclasm and their rejection of traditional filmmaking conventions. Common features of the New Wave included experimentation with editing , visual style, and narrative, as well as engagement with the social and political upheavals of the era.
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.
What is the French New Wave?
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.
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. The original French La politique des auteurs , translated literally as "The policy of authors".
These men of cinema valued the expression of the director's personal vision in both the film's style and script. Truffaut also credits the American director Morris Engel and his film Little Fugitive with helping to start the French New Wave, when he said "Our French New Wave would never have come into being, if it hadn't been for the young American Morris Engel who showed us the way to independent production with this fine movie.
The beginning of the New Wave was to some extent an exercise by the Cahiers writers in applying this philosophy to the world by directing movies themselves.
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Apart from the role that films by Jean Rouch have played in the movement, Chabrol's Le Beau Serge is traditionally but debatably credited as the first New Wave feature. Truffaut, with The Blows and Godard, with Breathless had unexpected international successes, both critical and financial, that turned the world's attention to the activities of the New Wave and enabled the movement to flourish.
Part of their technique was to portray characters not readily labeled as protagonists in the classic sense of audience identification. The auteurs of this era owe their popularity to the support they received with their youthful audience. Most of these directors were born in the s and grew up in Paris, relating to how their viewers might be experiencing life.
What is the French New Wave?
With high concentration in fashion, urban professional life, and all-night parties, the life of France's youth was being exquisitely captured. The French New Wave was popular roughly between and Politically and financially drained, France tended to fall back on the old popular pre-war traditions. One such tradition was straight narrative cinema, specifically classical French film. The movement has its roots in rebellion against the reliance on past forms often adapted from traditional novelistic structures , criticizing in particular the way these forms could force the audience to submit to a dictatorial plot-line.
They were especially against the French "cinema of quality", the type of high-minded, literary period films held in esteem at French film festivals, often regarded as "untouchable" by criticism.
French New Wave
New Wave critics and directors studied the work of western classics and applied new avant garde stylistic direction. The low-budget approach helped filmmakers get at the essential art form and find what was, to them, a much more comfortable and contemporary form of production.
Charlie Chaplin , Alfred Hitchcock , Orson Welles , Howard Hawks , John Ford , and many other forward-thinking film directors like Sam Fuller and Don Siegel  were held up in admiration while standard Hollywood films bound by traditional narrative flow were strongly criticized.
In a interview, Truffaut said that "the 'New Wave' is neither a movement, nor a school, nor a group, it's a quality " and in December published a list of film directors who had made their feature film debut since Many of these directors, such as Edmond Agabra and Henri Zaphiratos, were not as successful or enduring as the well-known members of the New Wave and today would not be considered part of it. Shortly after Truffaut's published list appeared, Godard publicly declared that the New Wave was more exclusive and included only Truffaut, Chabrol, Rivette, Rohmer and himself, stating that " Cahiers was the nucleus" of the movement.
Godard also acknowledged filmmakers such as Resnais, Astruc, Varda and Demy as esteemed contemporaries, but said that they represented "their own fund of culture" and were separate from the New Wave. Many of the directors associated with the New Wave continued to make films into the 21st century. The movies featured unprecedented methods of expression, such as long tracking shots like the famous traffic jam sequence in Godard's film Week End.
Also, these movies featured existential themes, such as stressing the individual and the acceptance of the absurdity of human existence. Filled with irony and sarcasm, the films also tend to reference other films. Many of the French New Wave films were produced on tight budgets; often shot in a friend's apartment or yard, using the director's friends as the cast and crew.
French New Wave Editing - The Dream
Directors were also forced to improvise with equipment for example, using a shopping cart for tracking shots. Parts that did not work were simply cut from the middle of the take, a practical decision and also a purposeful stylistic one. In many films of the French New Wave, the camera was used not to mesmerize the audience with elaborate narrative and illusory images, but rather to play with audience expectations.
Godard was arguably the movement's most influential figure; his method of film-making, often used to shock and awe audiences out of passivity, was abnormally bold and direct. As a result of his techniques, he is an early example of a director who was accused of having contempt for his audience something experimental filmmakers in the decades ahead, like Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch , would also be charged with .
His stylistic approach can be seen as a desperate struggle against the mainstream cinema of the time, or a degrading attack on the viewer's supposed naivety.
Either way, the challenging awareness represented by this movement remains in cinema today.
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Effects that now seem either trite or commonplace, such as a character stepping out of their role in order to address the audience directly , were radically innovative at the time.
Classic French cinema adhered to the principles of strong narrative, creating what Godard described as an oppressive and deterministic aesthetic of plot. In contrast, New Wave filmmakers made no attempts to suspend the viewer's disbelief; in fact, they took steps to constantly remind the viewer that a film is just a sequence of moving images, no matter how clever the use of light and shadow.
The result is a set of oddly disjointed scenes without attempt at unity; or an actor whose character changes from one scene to the next; or sets in which onlookers accidentally make their way onto camera along with extras, who in fact were hired to do just the same.
At the heart of New Wave technique is the issue of money and production value.
The French New Wave: Revolutionising Cinema
In the context of social and economic troubles of a post-World War II France, filmmakers sought low-budget alternatives to the usual production methods, and were inspired by the generation of Italian Neorealists before them. Half necessity and half vision, New Wave directors used all that they had available to channel their artistic visions directly to the theatre.
Finally, the French New Wave, as the European modern Cinema , is focused on the technique as style itself.
A French New Wave film-maker is first of all an author who shows in its film their own eye on the world. They tended to see cinema akin to other arts, such as literature.
However they were similar to the New Wave directors in that they practiced cinematic modernism. Their emergence also came in the s and they also benefited from the youthful audience.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Movement in French cinema. For the music group, see Nouvelle Vague band. For other uses, see Nouvelle Vague disambiguation.
The international popularity of French New Wave
Film portal. Richard Neupert. Bordwell, David. McGraw Hill. Retrieved 13 June Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 6 September French cinema.
New York: Oxford University Press.
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Ciment, Michel. Cluny, Claude Michel. Frouard, Jean-Pierre.
The New York Times. Girdner, Ashlee 11 March Bonjour Paris.
Retrieved 2 April The solution for this was to hide Coutard inside of a three wheeled mail cart, which was fitted with a hole just big enough for the camera lens to stick out, and he then would be pushed alongside the chatting stars. Heretical empiricism. New Academia Publishing. Supporto, soggetto, oggetto: forme di costruzione del sapere dal cinema ai nuovi media, in Costruzione e appropriazione del sapere nei nuovi scenari tecnologici in Italian.
Napoli: CUEN. Accessed 30 Apr French New Wave. Cinema of France. Culture of France World cinema. Box office Film festivals Cinema chains UniFrance. Film genres.