French new wave

"Nouvelle Vague" is also the name of a pop band.

The New Wave (French: Nouvelle vague) of French cinema was a cinematic movement of the late 1950's (Le Beau Serge, by Claude Chabrol) and 1960s.

The writers of the magazine Cahiers du cinma decided to apply their theories of the auteur — the director as the center of all moviemaking — to the world by directing movies themselves. They praised movies by Jean Renoir and Jean Vigo. Former writers of the magazine such as Franois Truffaut with his The 400 Blows (1959) and Jean-Luc Godard with Breathless (1960) marked the beginning of this era alongside aforementioned Claude Chabrol. Other directors included, Jacques Rivette, Eric Rohmer, Louis Malle, and Alain Resnais.

The movies featured hitherto unprecedented methods of expression, such as seven minute tracking shots (like the famous traffic jam sequence in Godard's Week End). The movies also featured existential themes, such as the stressing of the individual and the acceptance of the absurdity of human existence. The themes and expressions were not the only critical aspects of the films: how they were shot was also important. French New Wave directors often shot in the streets, rejecting the idea of films made in studios. The use of lightweight cameras, lights and sound equipment were innovations that the filmmakers used to their advantage. Many New Wave Films are recognizable by their fluid movements, with shots often following characters down the Paris streets.

It is important to realize that many of the French New Wave films were done on extremely small budgets. Often they were shot in a friends' apartment, and used the director's friends as the cast and crew. Directors were also forced to improvise with equipment (for example, using a shopping cart for tracking shots). The cost of film was also a major concern; thus, efforts to save film turned into stylistic innovations: for example, in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, several scenes feature jump cuts, as they were filmed in one long take: parts that didn't work were simply cut right from the middle of the take.

The style had an impact on American movies as well. After Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) the New Hollywood directors (e.g. Altman, Coppola, De Palma and Scorsese) of the late 1960s/early 1970s made movies inspired by their European (and in particular French) counterparts. The latest American director who admits a serious influence of the French new wave is Quentin Vague eo:Franca Nova Ondo fr:Nouvelle Vague he:הגל החדש it:Nouvelle Vague ja:ヌーヴェルヴァーグ pt:Nouvelle Vague


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