Life in a Mafia Family. Film posters were subtitled:
If you were to add to this the works of those various filmmakers of the era who have been labelled as New Wave at one time or another, as well as those influenced by the movement, both in France and abroad, then the number of potential films would run into the thousands. Getting to grips with the New Wave might understandably therefore seem a daunting prospect for somebody wanting to explore the movement for the first time.
With that in mind, this introduction will provide some general context and a brief overview of some of the characteristics associated with the French New Wave.
It will also offer some suggestions about where to start your investigations, as well as an overview of the seminal "must see" films which best define the movement. Why the New Wave Still Matters It has now been more than half a century History of stylistic the directors of the New Wave in French, "Nouvelle Vague" electrified the international film scene with their revolutionary new way of telling stories on film.
The New Wave itself may no longer be "new", but the directors and their films are still important. They are the progenitors of what we have come to think of as alternative cinema today, and they had, and continue to have, a profound influence on cinema and popular culture throughout the world.
Without the Nouvelle Vague there may not have been any ScorseseSoderberghor Tarantino or Formanor Wendersor Bertolucciand music, fashion and advertising would be without History of stylistic major point of reference.
The directors of the Nouvelle Vague, and those of their like-minded contemporaries in other countries, created a new cinematic style, using breakthrough techniques and a fresh approach to storytelling that could express complex ideas while still being both direct and emotionally engaging.
Crucially, these filmmakers also proved that they didn't need the mainstream studios to produce successful films on their own terms.
By emphasizing the personal and artistic vision of film over its worth as a commercial product, the Nouvelle Vague set an example that inspired others across the world.
In every sense they were the true founders of modern independent film and to watch them for the first time is to rediscover cinema. A Radical New Type of Filmmaking To get a general idea of what this new cinematic approach meant, it might help to understand that before they were directors, the main players of the New Wave were the original film geeks or cinephiles.
Cinema was very important in culture-starved post-war France, and most of the New Wave directors spent a great deal of time in their early years writing or thinking about it. Some were film critics, some were simply lovers of film - nearly all sharpened their cinematic sensibilities through long hours spent in the various Parisian cinematheques and film clubs.
Their influences included everything from movies by realist Italian directors like Roberto Rosselini to hard-boiled Noir and B movies from America, as well as early silent classics and even the latest technicolour Hollywood musicals. From this passion for cinema they developed a belief in the theory of the auteur: Une Femme Est Une Femme, dir.
Although they admired many of the studio films being made at the time, they also felt that most mainsteam cinema, especially in France, was not expressing human life, thought, and emotion in a genuine way. Many of the popular movies of the era, they argued, were dry, recycled, inexpressive and out of touch with the daily lives of post-war French youth.
Besides being made to impress rather than express, these films generally afforded their directors very little freedom or creative control, instead catering to the commercial whims of producers and the influence of screenwriters.
Those New Wave directors who started as critics, mainly writing for the French journal called Cahiers du Cinema, regularly praised the films they loved and tore apart those films they hated in print. Through the process of judging the art of cinema, they began to think about what it was that might make the medium special.
More importantly they were gradually inspired to begin making films themselves. While each director had a slightly different agenda, Truffaut could be said to encapsulate the group's mission when he said, "The film of tomorrow will not be directed by civil servants of the camera, but by artists for whom shooting a film constitutes a wonderful and thrilling adventure.
The New Wave directors did not want to hold your hand through each scene, directing you emotion by emotion, through a fixed narrative. There was a feeling that this sort of storytelling interfered with the viewer's ability to perceive and react to film just as they would perceive and react to life.
These directors wanted to break up the filmic experience, to make it fresh and exciting, and to jolt the moviegoer out of complacent viewing - to make the viewer think and feel, not only about what they were watching, but about their own lives, thoughts and emotions as well.
Dialogue was to be as realistic and spontaneous as possible, or philosophical in a way that made one think beyond the film. Expressing the truth was of the utmost importance. The object was not simply to entertain, it was to sincerely communicate.
The scripts or lack thereof of these new directors were often revolutionary, but the films' modest budgets often forced them to become technically inventive as well. As a result, the movies of the Nouvelle Vague have became known for certain stylistic innovations such as: In addition, their films often engaged, although sometimes indirectly, with the social and political upheavals of their times.
You can read a more in-depth history of the French New Wave in our history article. Czech New Wave director Milos Forman . Although the French New Wave is the best known, similar cinematic movements were happening elsewhere, also fuelled by the cultural and social change that came in the wake of the Second World War.
The first productions of these filmmakers, who included Lindsay AndersonTony Richardson and Karel Reiszwere documentaries chronicling working-class life that had a freshness, energy and modern satirical edge.
Shooting on location, often using non-professional actors, they sought to capture life as it was really lived in their societies. In Italy too, young directors making their first films such as Bernardo Bertolucci and Marco Bellocchio were directly inspired by the Nouvelle Vague.
The same was true of a new generation of German directors, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and Werner Herzog, who emerged at the end of the s and came to be known as the New German Cinema. Revolutionary film movements also arose in Japan and Brazil where directors like Nagisa Oshima and Glauber Rocha made films devoted to questioning, analyzing, critiquing and upsetting social conventions.
Indeed, in countries around the world, young filmmakers armed with hand-held cameras and ideas inspired by the Nouvelle Vague were making films on their own terms.Although the French New Wave is the best known, similar cinematic movements were happening elsewhere, also fuelled by the cultural and social change that came in the wake of the Second World War.
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“All Grown Up”, a special produced with a “dream sequence” where all the babies are aged 10 years airs on Nickelodeon in July. “The Rugrats” receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame cementing their place in entertainment and animation history.