French New Wave

A cinema lovers encounter with the Nouvelle Vague.

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News
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Directors
Jean-Luc Godard
Francois Truffaut
Claude Chabrol
Agnes Varda
Louis Malle
Alain Resnais
Eric Rohmer
Jacques Demy
Jean Rouch
Jacques Rivette
Jean-Pierre Melville
Chris Marker


Films
Bob Le Flambeur (1955)

Et Dieu...Crea La Femme (1956)

Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud (1958)

Le Beau Serge (1958)

Moi, Un Noir (1958)

Les Cousins (1959)

Le Signe Du Lion (1959)

Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959)

Hiroshima, Mon Amour (1959)

Les Yeux Sans Visage (1960)

A Bout De Souffle (1960)

Tirez Sur Le Pianiste (1960)

Zazie Dans Le Metro (1960)

Les Bonnes Femmes (1960)

Paris Nous Appartient (1960)

Lola (1961)

Une Femme Est Une Femme (1961)

L'Anee Derniere A Marienbad (1961)

Cleo De 5 A 7 (1961)

Jules Et Jim (1962)

Vivre Sa Vie (1962)

La Jetee (1962)

Le Petit Soldat (1963)

Adieu Philippine (1963)

La Baie Des Anges (1963)

Le Mepris (1963)

Le Feu Follet (1963)

Bande A Part (1964)

La Peau Douce (1964)

Les Parapluies De Cherbourg (1964)

Paris Vu Par... (1965)

Alphaville (1965)

Pierrot Le Fou (1965)

Viva Maria! (1965)

Masculin Feminin (1966)

Deux Ou Trois Choses Que Je Sais D'Elle (1967)

La Chinoise (1967)

La Collectionneuse (1967)

Week-End (1967)

Le Samourai (1967)


Books
French New Wave by Chris Wiegand

A History of the French New Wave Cinema by Richard Neupert

French New Wave by Jean Douchet

French New Wave: An Artistic School by M. Marie, R. Neupert


Film Criticism
Sight & Sound
Film Comment
Film Quarterly
Cineaste


Blogs
Dialectic Humanism
Cinema 24
Esoteric Rabbit Films
Rashomon
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
-Cahiers Du Cinema-
Filmateur
Steven Carlson
Film Babble
Cinemania


Tuesday

Masculine Feminine - coming to a theatre near you




MF is being re-released theatrically here in the United States over the next several months. As usual the Godard traveling tour bus (as I like to call it) only makes spot appearances. It's a real nuisance for Godard fans such as myself. The infrequency of appearances is the reason I've only just seen Godard's Notre Musique (2004) - a full year after it was first released! Visit Rialto Pictures Masculine Feminine page to see if & when the film will be appearing in your hometown. The truly weird thing is that I saw the MF trailer in a Philadelphia movie theatre, but Philadelphia isn't currently listed. (???!!) Hmmm. I hope that it was just a mistake that excluded. I would really hate to have to travel to another city just to see MF on the big screen.

Monday

Jean-Luc Godard - my petite tribute.

Long after the fact I feel it's time to post a link to my Jean-Luc Godard Tribute page. Nothing fancy - just a few pics of the man and some film posters.

Sunday

Dancing to Bande A Part

Last week I found myself doing an imitation of the famous dance sequence from Band of Outsiders (Bande A Part). The location was a bus stop after midnight on a desolate Philadelphia street. I danced under the street lights and in the middle of the road (there little traffic at that time). I'm not sure why I did it. I guess I'm just becoming more silly in my isolation. I so want to exhibit the French New Wave love for life. That is what I've learned from the films of this wonderful period. Life is enjoyed through action, and not through a voyeuristic passivity that is so common in American society. We Americans don't live. We view other people living. Which has inevitably lead to the proliferation of so-called reality TV. One of the best features of the French New Wave is the near absence of the television. The most prevalent form of visual entertainment shown is that of the cinema. Television is an introverted experience tied to the home. The cinema is a public form of entertainment that requires the viewer to congregate with others. You share your spontaneous laughter and tears with individuals scattered throughout the darken theater. When I exit the film and I'm walking along the streets of my city I try to remember to put into practice the lessons I've learned. We view life all the time but learn nothing. Film give us a rare opportunity - to view a life in totality - not just in snapshots. My life is also a movie. I'm determined to live it!



Monday

Audio: Sounds of the French New Wave

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday

Jean-Luc Godard Interview

Masculine Feminine - Pierre Daix

Q: Can it be said that Masculine Feminine is a film about youth?

A: No, I don't believe so. It is more a film on the idea of youth. A
philosophical idea, but not a practical one - a way of reacting to
things. A young way, let us say. If people don't react to things the
same way that they do when they're forty, it's simply because when
they're nineteen they're only nineteen and not forty. What I mean is:
it's not a dissertation on youth or even an analysis, even if the film
in some ways is closer to sociology than to the novel. Let's say it
speaks of youth, but it's a piece of music, a "concerto on youth." How
can it be differentiated from an other, since it's all musical notes,
it's music whereas in novels, the words are young, but the meaning will
come from the sign, and I have taken young signs, signs that have not
yet been deformed, that are not printed characters. My signs haven't
already been used a thousand times. It's the first time they've been
used. I can talk about them now, afterward, because when I made this
film, I didn't have the least idea of what I wanted.

Q: Was your point of departure a story by Maupassant?

A: Yes, theoretically; what I started was a story of Maupassant's called
"Paul Mistress." It's the story of a boy who's in love with a girl, and
things don't go well because this girl is in love with another girl. And
in the end things went off course as they always do when I use a "wall"
to hoist myself on. Then I discover something else and I forget the wall
I used.

I hired young people. They interested me, so I did tings that had to do
with them. The original plans having to do with them weren't important;
I made them talk. I think it can be said that this film is a survey; but
if so, it is a very advanced survey, in the sense that everything
happens where and when the survey is being conducted. Every time the
young people talk with each other, they are conducting a survey: the boy
is doing opinion research on the girl; even when he is talking about
love, they are conducting surveys all around them. And I make a survey
of them. They themselves are tracking each other down; it's sort of
perpetual survey.

The Dreamers




The Dreamers is released on DVD today. This film was definitely made in the spirit of the French New Wave, and is a wonderful celebration of sex and the cinema. I really felt in touch with the love of film shown by the main characters, primarily because I'm a cinema junkie myself. Although my love of cinema has never lead me to their hedonistic behavior. What a terrible shame that is! I paid 3X to see The Dreamers at the local arthouse theater - a personal record. No doubt I'm purchasing this.


There goes my pocket money...