Saturday, 3 December 2011

Lecture Five - French New Wave Cinema.

Who were the new wave?

  • Group of French filmmakers.
  • Jean-Luc Goddard, Francois Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer.
  • All once film critics, background in film theory.
  • All wrote for Cahiers du Cinema.
  • They were reacting against the French film of 1940's. They were against films shot in a studio, films that were set in the past, films that were contrived and over-dramatised, films that used trickery and special effects.
The French New Wave (late 1950's - early 1960's)
  • Henry Langlois and the Paris Cinemateque.
  • Andre Bazin and the realist tradition.
  • Cahirs du Cinema.
  • From Critics ti Auteurs.
  • Against the 'Cinema of Quality.'
  • Discovery of American genre films. Celebrated this because of how it reflected contemporary urban life.
  • Cinematic, rather than, literary values.
  • Importance of personal expression.
  • Spontaneity and digression.
The 'Look'
  • Shot on location.
  • Use lightweight, hand-held cameras, sound and lighting equipment.
  • Faster fim stocks, less light.
  • Film shot quickly and cheaply.
  • Experimentation and improvisation was encouraged.
  • Casual, natural look.
  • Available light and sound.
  • Mise-en-scene: french landscapes, cafes.
Editing Style
  • Free style.
  • Didn't conform to editing rules.
  • Discontinuous, jump cuts.
  • The overall goal was to make the audience remember that they are watching a film.
  • Philosopher Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
  • Stressed the individual.
  • Experience of free choice.
  • Absence of any rational understanding of universe.
  • Sense of absurdity in human life.
  • In indifferent world, existentialist seeks to: act authentically, use free will, take responsibility for all their actions, avoid playing out roles pre-ordained by society.

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