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


Wednesday

Jules and Jim: The Script



Purchased a Jules and Jim script book at one of my favorite used bookstores yesterday. It's a thin volume - containing no text extras, and fewer pictures than the Masculine Feminine book that I've been talking about. Still, it's a handsome addition to my French New Wave collection. One that I will discuss in detail once I get Masculine Feminine out of my system.

Truffaut will get his due soon enough! :-)



Masculine Feminine: The Text - part 2




Having read the script I want to comment on the political content of this film. There is nothing deep, or profound about the politics within Masculine Feminine. In a way this is common problem throughout the films of Jean-Luc Godard. He presents political ideas, but often he doesn't flesh them out, or provide the proper context so that the viewer can asses the viewpoints on display. In Masculine Feminine we are given some information about the political ideologies of the two male protagonists. Both Paul & Robert are shown to have marxist leanings. At the very least they are avowed socialists. But there appears to be no particular purpose to their politics. They can spit party doctrine, however there is no scene in the film were they put these ideas into practice. Paul's spray painting of an American officials car in protest over the Vietnam War could be seen as a bold political statement, but this isn't an act that can be associated with any one particular cause. It more indicative of anti-Americanism than leftist politics.

As a side - the protest of American aggression in Vietnam by the French Left is of curiosity to me. I wish that I had looked into this more closely. It is a wonder that such strong protest against America could occur when just a few years earlier the French themselves were fighting a colonial war in Vietnam. It troubles me that so many seemed to ignore the French role in creating the Vietnam quagmire. It seems silly to me to criticise America, but ignore the French roots of the conflict. I'm sure that this characterization doesn't fit the entire French Left - please excuse my ignorance of the activities of the whole movement.


Back to the film - Paul & Robert are largely leftists in name only. Associating with the left provides them with an identity at a time when leftist ideas were gaining ground in youth culture. This association was as much social as it was political. Godard makes this point clear by situating most of the films leftist political debate around the males attempts to chat-up women.


The portrayal of the female protagonists in this film is of interest when you compare it to the treatment of the males. As Crow-50 mentions in his/her review the women are all apolitical and fairly materialistic. It's possible that Godard was trying to present the differences between the genders in a political context. But I would disagree with the thought that the portrayal of the women in Masculine Feminine was sexist. The men despite their leftist rhetoric essential lived the same sort of bourgeois lives as the women. The women were more honest about their attachment with the materialism of the greater society, while the men were in complete denial.





Sunday

Masculine Feminine: In Text




I recently bought Masculine Feminine in paperback - it contains the script, over a 100 photos from the film, movie reviews circa 1966, and some interviews with Godard. I'm really excited about this find - and a little bit surprised. I cruise the used bookstore where I bought this on the regular, and hadn't seen it there before. I assure you if I had I would have purchased it long ago. There is no way for me to know how many more editions of this book are still available - it definitely has a certain 'out of print' feel to it.

I'm going to make a sincere attempt to go through the entire text today. I tried late yesterday, but I was suffering through a migraine. A direct result of too much time in front of the screen editing this page - or because of too little food - your guess is as good as mine.

I definitely like what I see so far from this book. It a shame that these type of books have gone out of style. I'm not sure why this is - it's a fantastic way to format books directed towards film lovers. It's almost like a film. Well, maybe a silent film. Well, maybe more like a comic book, but with more text then pictures.

I also saw a similar book for Last Year At Marienbad at the same bookstore. That was actually my first target for purchase, but there was no way I could overlook MF. Vintage Godard is just too sweet to pass up! I'll get it next time.


Site Maintenance

Spent most of yesterday added various links, and working on the look of the site. Your input would be greatly appreciated - especially if you know of directors or films that I should add to the links section.

-DH

Friday

French New Wave - The Blog

Welcome to the first American blog devote to that fantastic period of cinema know as the French New Wave.

First off I want to lay down my credentials...

I have none :-)

I'm not a film historian, filmmaker, or film student. Nor do I have any experience of an kind in film. Hell, I'm not even that good of a writer!

What I am is an enthusiast of world cinema, and of the French New Wave in particular. Don't ask me if I've seen all the films - because I haven't. A combination of lack of money, and access have resulted in my missing a few. But I am working on this.

I plan on using a slightly restrictive definition of what constitutes a French New Wave film. I've decided to concentrate on French films released in the years 1958-1966. But I'm flexible! Films before and after these times will be topics of discussions as long as they have some type of association with the French New Wave.

At this point I'm hoping that I haven't bored the heck out of all of you.
If I haven't - Good! There will definitely be more to come.