French New Wave

As the series comes to the end of the 1950s, we are looking into the beginning of the French New Wave film making.

The New Wave (French: La Nouvelle Vague) is a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s.

Although never a formally organized movement, the New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of the literary period pieces being made in France and written by novelists, along with their spirit of youthful iconoclasm, the desire to shoot more current social issues on location, and their intention of experimenting with the film form. “New Wave” is an example of European art cinema.   Many also engaged in their work with the social and political upheavals of the era, making their radical experiments with editing, visual style and narrative part of a general break with the conservative paradigm. 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.

This coming Wednesday at the Palm Theatre, we’ll watch a little of The 400 Blows by Francois Truffaut

Click here to learn about the film

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